Manitoba’s top doc says the province has changed its strategy around COVID-19 because of the change in how the latest variant makes people sick.
“The virus has changed dramatically, so we’ve changed dramatically,” said Dr. Brent Roussin Wednesday, at a press conference to update Manitobans with the latest COVID-19 information.
The Chief Public Health Officer said the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is freely circulating in the province and he encouraged people to get vaccinated “as soon as possible.”
The Omicron variant is much more infectious than previous variants, but seems to produce milder cases, said Roussin.
However, that doesn’t mean people aren’t at risk.
“We’re all tired of this, but we still have work to do to mitigate the effects of this virus.”
Hospitalizations rose on Wednesdays to 631 total people in care due to COVID-19. There are currently 50 ICU cases, and 12 more people have died.
Roussin called the new COVID-19 anti-viral pill a “welcome tool” in doctors’ arsenals.
“Manitoba will get an initial 1,100 doses,” he said.
Last week, Roussin announced the province was changing strategies from preventing COVID-19 to mitigating the risks of the virus.
The best way to mitigate the risk is to get vaccinated, said Dr. Joss Reimer, the head of the province’s Vaccine Task Force.
She said schools will resume offering first and second doses for kids aged 5-17 next week.
“If you have any of the heath conditions on our list, and many of us do … please get your booster as soon as you’re eligible.”