Details on Manitoba’s new health orders coming tomorrow: Top doctor

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s top doctor says the specific details of the province’s new round of health orders will be released tomorrow – four days before they are set to take effect.

During the daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said Manitobans will soon find out what will change when health orders expire on Friday.

“I don’t want to speculate on anything,” Roussin said. “Tomorrow we will be able to provide the details of exactly what these orders are going to look like.”

The province released the proposed changes to the health orders last week – which floated the idea of reopening restaurants, gyms and places of worship under limited capacity.

READ MORE: More businesses could reopen in Manitoba under new proposed public health orders

While Manitoba has been seeing daily COVID-19 case numbers drop – Monday saw the lowest case count since mid-October – Roussin would not say if the province is considering changing the rules for private gatherings.

Currently only two designated people are allowed to visit inside a household, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five people plus household members.

The province previously said when it announced the proposed changes that it is not considering upping the private gathering limits.

“We can’t undo all of this hard work by simply opening everything up again,” Roussin said. “We have to remember that we have been here before.”

He said if the province reopens similar to the way it had in October – there will be a spike in cases again.

He said businesses should not look for loopholes in the health orders to open things that are not intended to be open.

Roussin said regardless of the changes, Manitobans still need to do their part.

“We know pandemics come to an end and this one will be no different, but right now we need to stay focused to keep these numbers down, to keep the strain of the health-care system down so we can get back to the health care for all Manitobans,” Roussin said.

He said Manitobans need to follow the fundamentals and stay home if sick. Roussin said this will become even more important with the next phase of reopening, as there will be more risk of community transmission if Manitobans go out when they are symptomatic. 

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