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Operation Red Nose cancels 2020 operations in Winnipeg, Brandon amid coronavirus

Operation Red Nose Winnipeg officially cancelled its 2020 program Wednesday over concerns about safety amid COVID-19.
Operation Red Nose Winnipeg officially cancelled its 2020 program Wednesday over concerns about safety amid COVID-19. Brandon Gonez / Global News

Those filled with a little too much cheer are going to need to find a new way home in Manitoba’s two largest cities this holiday season.

Operation Red Nose Winnipeg has cancelled its annual ride-sharing program in both Winnipeg and Brandon in 2020, citing health concerns over COVID-19.

Read more: Operation Red Nose provides safe ride home for over 4,000 Manitobans

“Maintaining social distancing in vehicles and ensuring a safe environment for our clients and volunteers would be very difficult, if not impossible,” Operation Red Nose Winnipeg co-ordinator Sharra Hinton said in a release Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share our decision to not provide our ride-program during the 2020 Holiday Season due to COVID-19.”

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Click to play video 'Operation Red Nose can help you and your vehicle get home safe this holiday season' Operation Red Nose can help you and your vehicle get home safe this holiday season
Operation Red Nose can help you and your vehicle get home safe this holiday season

Operation Red Nose Operation provides a free ride service for those who are impaired, while making sure their vehicles gets home safely as well.

The volunteer-run service is free but donations go to support a variety of organizations in the province.

Read more: Operation Red Nose putting out call for smartphones after Bell MTS pulls sponsorship

Operation Red Nose has been hosted by the Manta Swim Club in Winnipeg since 1995, and over the years programs have been set up in 10 other Manitoba communities as well.

Hinton said each of those locations will make their own decision about whether or not to operate for the 2020 holiday season.

Hinton said the Winnipeg program expects to be back and running over the 2021 holiday season.

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Click to play video 'Operation Red Nose putting out call for smartphones after Bell MTS pulls sponsorship' Operation Red Nose putting out call for smartphones after Bell MTS pulls sponsorship
Operation Red Nose putting out call for smartphones after Bell MTS pulls sponsorship

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. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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