COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux

Ongoing response

Last updated on: September 22, 2020

Masks

As part of our commitment to ensure the health and safety of our residents and employees, we are requiring that all individuals entering City-operated facilities or using Winnipeg Transit or Winnipeg Transit Plus must wear a face mask as a means to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

While not a replacement for social distancing or hand-washing, the use of face masks is increasingly recognized by public health officials as a tool to provide protection against the spread of COVID-19, particularly in settings where social distancing may be a challenge. Our decision to require the use of face masks in our facilities and Transit vehicles is in keeping with this recognition, and was contemplated due to the increasing number of cases in the community.

The authority to mandate the use of face masks in City-operated facilities is within the CAO’s existing authority. The Director of Winnipeg Transit has authority to require face masks on Transit vehicles, including Transit Plus vehicles.

Residents are expected to make good personal decisions regarding the use of face masks. Employees will be informing residents who are not wearing a face mask that they are required to wear one. Note, while our primary focus is on education as we introduce these new measures, Transit riders could face a $100 fine for non-compliance. However, residents will not be denied service for refusing to wear a face mask. The City may implement enforcement measures if wide-spread non-compliance becomes an issue.

We also ask that Winnipeggers not judge others who may not be wearing a face mask, as there are a number of reasons someone may not be able to wear one.

Single-use disposal face masks will be available at public City-operated facilities where masks are required, including City Hall, recreation and leisure facilities, libraries, and administrative office buildings until supplies are exhausted. A limited number of face masks are currently available at public City-operated facilities where masks are required. A limited number of face masks are also currently available for Transit riders to pick up at Transit kiosks and City libraries during regular operating hours.

FAQs

Why do I need to wear a face mask when indoors in City-operated facilities and in City vehicles?

Covering your nose and mouth with a face mask helps reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Wearing the mask doesn’t just help to protect you, it protects our employees and our other customers, especially those who have pre-existing health conditions.

The City’s focus is to communicate and educate the public to better understand that wearing face masks is helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Members of the public will not be denied service for refusing to wear a face mask.

How do I wear a face mask properly?

To be at all effective, face masks must be worn properly. When face masks are not worn properly, they will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others and may also put the wearer at greater risk of infection.

When wearing a face mask, do the following:

  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off.
  • Practice good hand hygiene while wearing the face mask.
  • Ensure your face mask fits well (doesn't gape) and covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
  • Do not share your face mask with others.
  • Avoid touching your mask or face while wearing the face mask.
  • If you need to adjust your face mask, wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Do not dangle your face mask from one ear, or pull it below your nose or your mouth so that it is covering your chin.
  • For more information on how to wear a face mask properly, please visit the Health Canada website.

Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands. Avoid touching your face mask while wearing it, change your mask as soon as it is damp or soiled. While medical face masks can be disposed of following use, reusable masks must be placed into a bag or washing machine and appropriately laundered on a hot cycle, dried thoroughly, and stored.

A face mask should not be placed on children under two years of age, on anyone unable to remove the mask without assistance or on anyone who has trouble breathing.

Do I need to bring my own face mask to use?

Members of the public are asked to bring their own mask from home and wear it as required in City facilities and onboard Winnipeg Transit and Winnipeg Transit Plus vehicles.

Single-use disposal face masks will be available at public City-operated facilities where masks are required, including City Hall, recreation and leisure facilities, libraries, and administrative office buildings. A limited number of face masks are currently available at public City-operated facilities where masks are required. A limited number of face masks are also currently available for Transit riders to pick up at Transit kiosks and City libraries during regular operating hours.

When are face masks required?

Face masks must be worn over the mouth, nose, and chin at all times with the following exemptions, including but not limited to:

  • Persons under the age of five
  • Persons who are unable to place, use, or remove a mask without assistance
  • Persons unable to wear a mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation, or protected ground under the Manitoba Human Rights Code
  • Persons consuming food or drink in designated seating areas or as part of religious or spiritual ceremony
  • Persons engaged in water activities or physical exercise
  • Persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance
  • Persons engaging in tasks or services that require the temporary removal of a mask (e.g. in order to don a respirator)
  • City employees who are working alone in fully-enclosed space, such as an office with the door closed or travelling alone in a City vehicle, as well as employees working in a cubicle and separated from others by a partition and at least two meters
  • Emergency services personnel, including police officers, fire fighters and paramedics, while on duty as they already follow stringent additional health and safety internal department protocols

Do I need to prove that I am exempt from not wearing a face mask?

No. All persons are expected to make good personal decisions regarding use of face masks (considering the list of exemptions) and would not be expected to provide evidence to support their decision. Members of the public will not be denied service for not wearing a face mask.

The City of Winnipeg is not responsible for enforcing public health orders, that responsibility is the Province of Manitoba’s.

Potential exposures

Information is provided by Manitoba Health about locations where people might have been exposed to COVID-19 in a City of Winnipeg facility or vehicle, including Winnipeg Transit.

Residents are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, they are advised to visit a testing site as soon as possible. Those who have concerns about symptoms or who are unsure whether they should be tested can call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll free at 1-888-315-9257. For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, visit: manitoba.ca/covid19.

Date Location Details
September 15 Winnipeg Transit Route 14 11:10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., boarding the bus at Ellice Avenue and Spence Street and exiting on St. Mary Avenue. Those who travelled on the route are asked to monitor for symptoms.
September 14 & 15 Winnipeg Transit Route 412 From the Headmaster/Mildred stop to John Pritchard School from approximately 8:15 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., and the return route from approximately 3 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. Those who travelled on the route are asked to monitor for symptoms.
September 12 & 13 Winnipeg Transit Route 47

On Saturday, September 12, the individual rode route 47, boarding the bus at approximately 11:32 a.m. at Mayfair Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Way and exiting at approximately 12:10 p.m. at Kildare Avenue West and Kootenay Crescent.

On Sunday, September 13, the individual rode route 47, boarding at approximately 9:45 p.m. at Plessis Road and Rosseau Avenue West and exiting at approximately 10:20 p.m. at Mayfair Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Way.

September 8 Winnipeg Transit Route 16 From approximately 7:51 a.m. at the Graham Avenue and Vaughn Street stop location to Churchill High School, located at 510 Hay St. The bus was in service during the morning and evening peak periods only. Manitoba Health has advised that because the individual who tested positive was wearing a mask, the risk of exposure is considered to be low.
August 31 – September 2 Winnipeg Transit Routes 11 and 14 From approximately 8 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and from 7:30 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. on each day. Manitoba Health has indicated the exposure risk is low, but those who travelled on these routes at these times are asked to monitor for symptoms.

City parks

Everyone has a role to play in slowing COVID-19’s spread and minimizing its impact in our community.

On July 17, 2020, the City issued a new order restricting activities in City parks.

All City-owned play structures and picnic shelters are open as per the Province of Manitoba’s Restoring Safe Services plan, as are skate parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, and athletic fields (soccer, baseball, football, etc.). The City will not be cleaning or sanitizing playgrounds more frequently than normal. Use of these spaces is at your own risk.

Please note, social distancing is still required while within City parks and individuals must maintain a distance of at least two metres from every other individual. This does not apply to people who can demonstrate that they are living together in the same household. Individuals and any businesses operating within City parks must follow provincial public health orders, including adhering to group size restrictions.

The City’s By-Law Enforcement Officers are enforcing City orders. The By-Law Enforcement Officers are able to hand out warnings and appearance notices that could result in the imposition of penalties of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment for not respecting City orders.

A detailed daily breakdown of the enforcement activities is available online on the Open Data Portal.

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