Coronavirus: Manitoba’s gathering sizes to be increased starting Friday, say officials

Manitoba health officials will update the province on the latest coronavirus numbers in the province Wednesday.

Manitobans can gather in bigger groups starting this Friday, May 22.

Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer says groups of up to 25 people will be able to gather indoors, and groups of 50 will be able to gather outdoors.

Dr. Brent Roussin says physical distancing measures must remain in place at public gatherings, and the increased size limits do not mean Manitoba is in the clear on COVID-19.

“It’s not a return to normal,” Roussin said Wednesday. “We’re still dealing with this virus and we’re still going to need to deal with this virus for some time, so we need to take those precautions.”

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Premier Brian Pallister said Wednesday that more information on heading into Phase 2 of re-opening will come Thursday.

In addition, those with loved ones in personal care homes will be able to soon visit in a limited outdoor setting starting the following Friday, May 29.

“Now that we have the warmer weather upon us, there is an opportunity to allow increased visitor access for care home residents, and this will be through outdoor visits,” said Shared Health’s Lanette Siragusa.

Those visiting will have to undergo screening and hand hygeine and physical distancing will be in effect, she added.

“[Personal care home operators] have been asked to work with residents and families over the next week to identify visitors that are essential to the emotional well-being of the residents, and to determine duration, frequency, and timing of these visits,” Siragusa said.

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Over the long weekend, there was one new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus identified. On Tuesday, Manitoba Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said due to the low number of cases, the province may be able to ease restrictions earlier than anticipated.

READ MORE: Manitoba’s next phase of COVID-19 reopening could happen sooner than expected: health officials

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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