Skip to main content

Action is needed now - for Manitoba to prevent the new COVID-19 variants from coming to Manitoba

Action is needed  now  to prevent the new  variant forms of the COVID-19  virus (SARS-CoV2)  from coming to Manitoba. Major new variants of the virus have been found in the United Kingdom, in South Africa and in Brazil.  While these new variants may not cause more severe  disease (this is good), the new variants spread faster and are more infectious than the strain of COVID-19 virus we have been dealing with so far (this is bad).  The variants  will be harder to contain than the original strain of COVID-19 and therefore it is imperative that Manitoba act  now to limit the spread of these variants to Manitoba. We need, immediately, to review protocols for people coming from any jurisdiction where the virus has  been found (including Ontario, British Columbia  and Alberta).   Individuals coming from these areas should all self-isolate for 14 days (currently this is not required  for individuals from British Columbia and Alberta). Testing protocols for International travelers currently require all international travelers to be tested for COVID-19 on arrival in Manitoba.  Similar testing requirements should be considered for travelers from jurisdictions in Canada where the COVID variants are present including Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.  The  time to act is now.  The new variants move so quickly and so much faster than the original COVID virus that we need  to act now - or risk being too late to stop the variants from entering Manitoba.   We also need up to date reporting on the new variants - the number of people in Manitoba being tested each day specifically to identify the new variants and their possible presence in our province.   The press release our caucus sent out yesterday calling for much better attention to the new variants is below. 

January 15, 2021 

Province Should Ramp up Testing for Covid-19 Variants

Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba - Manitoba Liberals say the provincial government needs to ramp up testing, including for Covid-19 variants that are more infectious, especially with schools reopening next week.

There have been mutations to the Covid-19 virus in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, with some strains being more infectious. The new strains have been detected in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

The symptoms of the virus appear to be the same - with the same symptoms and death rates as the original strain of Covid-19, but it is easier to catch and spread, creating surges in infections.

A recent media report suggested that only Saskatchewan is broadly testing for variants.

“We need more testing, more contact tracing and we need to be on the lookout for these new variants or we will see a third wave,” said Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont. The PCs promised 3,000 tests a day, and Manitoba has routinely been falling far short of that.”

Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic Jon Gerrard, and Manitoba Seniors Critic Cindy Lamoureux have written to Health Minister Heather Stefanson asking for the government to provide more information so Manitobans know what the current status of testing for variants.

Gerrard said since Manitoba has the Federal Virology Lab, local testing capacity exists.

“Where these variants have had outbreaks, the curve for new infections has been vertical, so we need to be very vigilant,” said Gerrard.

Cindy Lamoureux, Seniors’ Critic said the government still needs to increase testing, including asymptomatic testing.

“Ontario recommended asymptomatic testing for everyone in personal care homes months ago. Seniors are the most vulnerable to this virus, and we need to learn from past mistakes to keep our elders safe,” said Lamoureux. 


Media Contact:

Colin Roy 
Director of Communications
Manitoba Liberal Caucus


  1. I have been with the virus for 2 years when i was introduced by a blogger who also narrated Her story online on how she was cured by a herbal medication which was sent by doctor chala, am telling you today that my test results come out negative. Contact Dr chala on his email address or you can visit his website on http://drchalaherbalhome.godaddysites... or


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Standing up for Seniors

Yesterday in the Legislature I  asked the Minister of Health questions about the care of seniors in personal care homes in Manitoba.   I specfically called for the Minister to increase the training and staffing requirements for personal care homes in Manitoba to bring them up to date.   My questions, the Minister's comments and the Speaker's interjection are below:  Personal-Care-Home  Improvements - Need for Upgrades to Standards and Training Hon. Jon  Gerrard   (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we're very concerned this government is not adapting to the reality of caring for seniors who are living longer. Seniors living in our personal-care homes today have much more challenging health-care conditions than those who were in similar homes even five years ago, and yet the staffing formula, or minimal personnel requirement, is over 20 years old. Too few care aides and nurses are adequately trained to look after residents with dementia and multiple chronic health conditi

Karen Keppler 1953 - 2020

  Karen was an incredible person who helped so many people. She had a heart of gold. Back in 1994 to 1997 we worked closely together to help communities all over Manitoba get connected to the internet. In the years since she has done amazing things.   She has served as Chair of the Winnipeg Library Foundation and helped with raising money for the expansion of the Millenium Library.    She helped many people to get new opportunities through the Selkirk and District Learning Centre and through her activities at the University of Winnipeg and the Herzing College.   She was an entrepreneur who helped many people move forward and start successful businesses.  Karen was very concerned about her community.  In she was   the Manitoba Liberal Party candidate in Sekirk constituency.   When the COVID pandemic came, Karen was really helpful in an effort to get computers for kids in need so that they could learn at home. Even recently when I was working to understand lead pollution and lead effects