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Protest at Winnipeg Jets game garners 45 coronavirus tickets

Bell MTS Place. Rudi Pawlychyn/Global News

The Manitoba government says it issued 77 tickets for COVID-19 public health violations over the last week, including 45 at a protest held outside Bell MTS Centre during the Winnipeg Jets season opener Thursday.

Of the 77 tickets issued between Jan. 11 and 17, the province said Tuesday 66 were $1,296 fines to individuals for various offences, nine were doled out to Manitobans caught not wearing a mask in indoor, public areas, and one $5,000 fine was issued to a business.

Read more: Anti-mask group holds another rally in Steinbach

The province says 183 warnings were also handed out over the seven days.

As well as the 45 tickets given out at the Winnipeg protest against coronavirus restrictions, the province says tickets were also handed out at another protest held in Steinbach Saturday and an investigation into that rally is ongoing.

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Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor says 355 COVID-19 cases linked to holiday gatherings – Jan 8, 2021

While the province didn’t say exactly how many tickets were issued at the Steinbach protest, RCMP said Monday 10 tickets had been given out and further charges are expected.

Since enforcement of public health orders around COVID-19 started in April 2020, the province now says a total of 2,394 warnings and 797 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses, resulting in more than $1.1 million in fines.

Read more: 10 tickets handed out at Steinbach anti-mask rally, more charges expected, RCMP say

Provincial fines for individuals breaking COVID-19 health orders are set at $1,296, while fines for businesses are $5,000. Those caught not wearing a mask in public indoor spaces can face a $289 fine.

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Manitoba imposed a provincewide shutdown in mid-November closing non-essential businesses and forbidding most gatherings with anyone outside a household. The restrictions have since been extended twice and are set to expire again Friday at midnight.

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Click to play video 'Anti-mask group holds another rally in Steinbach' Anti-mask group holds another rally in Steinbach
Anti-mask group holds another rally in Steinbach – Jan 18, 2021

Health officials have yet to say if they’ll be extended as is or loosened.

The province says nearly 3,300 personnel across various agencies are currently able to enforce public health orders.

Read more: Anti-mask rally in Steinbach sees hundreds of attendees

Manitobans can report non-compliance with public health orders online or by calling 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862.

Since March, Manitoba has reported 27,629 COVID-19 cases, and 773 people who contracted the virus have died.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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