Polo park mall in Winnipeg

Polo Park Mall on April 29, 2020 | Photo via CTV News Winnipeg


By Mia Hildebrandt

Health care systems are bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 as cities slowly start to reopen.

Manitoba is one of the provinces with fewer cases and deaths of COVID-19 amidst this pandemic with a total of 289 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.

On May 4, the province began executing phase one of reopening.

Since then, there have been an additional three cases confirmed but hospitals have not seen an increase in COVID-19 related patients.

Businesses that have reopened include government offices, non-urgent surgeries, retail businesses, restaurants with patios, hair salons, museums, parks, campgrounds and gatherings of 10 people were restored.

Winnipeggers have mixed emotions about the reopenings but Caroline Deerpalsing, a nurse at St. Boniface Hospital, thinks the government has been handling the pandemic extremely well.

Deerpalsing says the media has been very open with the information given about numbers inside the hospitals.

“We do have decreased volumes in our hospitals and that’s not new. We’ve been hearing that across all hospitals,” said Deerpalsing.

Hearing horror stories about health care systems in Italy and New York has Deerpalsing praising the government for enforcing social distancing regulations and school closures as early as they did.

“It proved to be an effective measure. The numbers can speak to it,” said Deerpalsing.

Deerpalsing says that Manitoba’s saving grace was spring break being cancelled. Quebec had their spring break earlier than most provinces (March 2 to 9) and the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths are higher than all other provinces.

“[Manitoba] put in our travel restrictions and social distancing measures before spring break,” said Deerpalsing. She thinks that’s what saved a lot of provinces from having a devastating toll on their citizens.

“As a citizen of Winnipeg, I’m pretty impressed.”

Deerpalsing says Manitoba has done a great job in following the government’s restrictions and the numbers have spoken for themselves.

Some say that a second wave of coronavirus is inevitable.

“To the degree it will be, who knows, to the number of hospital admissions, we don’t know,” said Deerpalsing.

Alberta’s number of cases are significantly higher than Manitoba’s as they prepare for a similar phase one of reopening next week.