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New public health measures in effect

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The fourth phase of the province’s Restoring Safe Services road map is in place following some changes to the originally proposed plan.
Following feedback from Manitobans and public health advice, the province dropped plans for several measures, including:
• proposed changes to indoor and outdoor gathering sizes which proposed 75 people indoors and 250 outdoors;
• removing self-isolation requirements for those travelling from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada; and
• walk-up counter service in bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries.
“As we move through this pandemic, our number one priority is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all Manitobans,” Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen said.
“While Manitoba’s response to COVID-19 has been led by scientific evidence and the advice of our public health professionals, we need to keep listening to what Manitobans are ready to accept and support at each phase of our recovery efforts. I want to thank Manitobans for their valuable input and commitment to keep the virus at bay as we continue to take a balanced and measured approach at restarting our economy.”
Over the last two days last week, more than 50,000 Manitobans provided feedback on the draft phase four plan through the online survey and telephone town hall, the minister noted.
Items moving forward with more limited implementation on July 25 include:
• increasing visitation at personal care and long-term care facilities, ensuring a balanced approach to visitation is required which mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission within sites. Each resident or designate would be able to identify two support people who would be able to visit the resident’s room indoors. Outdoor visits would be allowed for a reasonable number of visitors (up to four people) per resident, depending on availability of space. Each site will need to develop specific plans for enabling outdoor/indoor visitation by visitors to ensure the safety of residents within the facilities.
• maintaining current site capacity at 30 per cent for faith-based services and pow wows, but eliminating the need for sub-groups (cohorts);
• allowing stage performances and opening movie theatres to a maximum capacity of 30 per cent of the site, up to a maximum of 500 people;
• allowing casinos to open at a maximum of 30 per cent of the site’s capacity; and
• allowing retail businesses and indoor recreation sites to use non-permeable barriers when distances of two metres can not be maintained.
Public health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.
“It is thanks to the work and dedication of Manitobans that we have kept our test positivity rates low and reduced the level of illness from COVID-19 in Manitoba,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.
“We will continue to look to the data and engage with Manitobans to ensure we are taking a balanced approach as we learn how we can live with this virus in the weeks, months and years ahead.”
To view the updated phase four plan and to review public health guidance for businesses, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/index.html.