Manitoba’s premier and top doctor are expected to release details of the province’s latest round of COVID-19 public health orders Tuesday.
Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin have scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. Global News will stream the event live here.
Last week Roussin said health officials were considering loosening COVID-19 public health orders when current orders are set to expire this week.
The proposed changes would go into effect across the province in two phases as early as March 5 and again on March 26, he said.
They include doubling capacity limits in stores and restaurants, as well as for personal services, to 50 per cent. Seating at restaurant tables would still be limited to members of the same household.
Indoor religious services could operate at 25 per cent capacity instead of the current 10 per cent.
Indoor arcades and outdoor amusement parks could reopen with capacity limits. The few facilities that would have to remain closed include theatres, concert halls and casinos.
A cap on outdoor gatherings would rise to 10 people from five. And instead of households being permitted to only designate two people as visitors, the province could allow two-household bubbles so entire families could get together.
The proposed changes could also mean big shifts for sports enthusiasts and players of video lottery terminals. VLTs would be allowed to operate again as long as they were two metres apart or separated by physical barriers.
Indoor gyms and fitness facilities could offer group classes again, although with a 25 per cent capacity limit.
Under the current orders, which went into effect Feb. 12, restaurants, gyms, museums, tattoo parlours and many other establishments have been given the green light to open their doors again, at 25 per cent capacity.
People are also allowed to have a maximum of two visitors in their homes, but they must be the same two people for the duration of current public health orders.
Health officials reported 35 new COVID-19 cases and one death Monday.
The province’s case count has dropped sharply since a severe spike in the fall when Manitoba led all the provinces in the per capita rate of new infections. The strain on intensive care units has eased and the province’s five-day test positivity rate has dropped from highs of around 13 per cent to 3.9 per cent as of Monday.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.
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