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Larger Outdoor Gatherings Allowed in Latest Health Orders

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Roussin Crop
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial health officer.

Although discussions took place last week about the possibility of bringing Manitoba down from code red, Premier Brian Pallister announced on Tuesday, March 23 that the province will hold steady for at least three more weeks.

The decision was made out of a need for caution, with case numbers rising slowly in recent weeks, coupled with the additional spread of more contagious variants of concern. Public feedback was also taken into account.

“As more Manitobans get back to doing some of the activities they love and have missed over the past few months, it is crucial that we continue to follow the fundamentals and avoid the activities that are known to cause the greatest risk,” says Pallister.

However, there are a few minor changes to the public health orders. The changes will take effect on Friday, March 26 and last for three weeks.

Notably, outdoor gatherings can be as large as 25 people (previously 10), and weddings and funerals can also have up to 25 guests. Another change is that people attending drive-in events may now leave their vehicles.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial health officer, noted that there won’t be any changes in indoor or outdoor gathering sizes at personal residences or in restaurants, since prolonged contact has a higher risk of transmitting the virus.

“We are carefully monitoring our hospitalization data and case numbers of cases linked to variants of concern to ensure that as we gradually reopen, we continue to have capacity in the system,” says Dr. Roussin. “That said, we are going to see more cases and more exposures as we slowly reopen. COVID-19 will be here to stay for awhile, and we need to work together to manage its effects and protect our most vulnerable.”

To offer a ray of hope, Dr. Roussin indicates that further changes may be considered after spring break if the data supports it.

For more information

To access up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19

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