More than 50,000 Manitobans provided feedback in recent days through an online survey and telephone townhall to how the province should proceed with reopening plans.
“While Manitoba’s response to COVID-19 has been led by scientific evidence and the advice of our public health professionals, we need to keep listening to what Manitobans are ready to accept and support at each phase of our recovery efforts,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.
The draft plan for Phase 4 was released earlier this week and was scheduled to take effect this Saturday, July 25. Based on public feedback, some items in the plan will be deferred to a later date or moved forward with more limited implementation.
Items moving forward with more limited implementation on July 25 include:
- Maintaining current site capacity at 30 percent for faith-based services, pow wows, but eliminating the need for sub-groups (cohorts)
- Allowing stage performances and opening movie theatres to a maximum capacity of 30 per cent of the site, up to a maximum of 500 people
- Allowing casinos to open at a maximum of 30 per cent of the site’s capacity
- Allowing retail businesses and indoor recreation sites to use non-permeable barriers when distances of two metres can not be maintained
The following proposed changes have been deferred:
- Proposed changes to indoor and outdoor gathering sizes
- Relaxing of self-isolation requirements for those travelling from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada
- Walk-up counter service in bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries
Personal care homes and long-term care settings will proceed as outlined in the draft document.
Health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.
One new case of COVID-19
One new probable case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) was reported in Manitoba on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 375.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, says there are 49 active cases, 319 people have recovered and one person is in the intensive care unit. Seven people have died from the virus.
Thursday’s new case is a man in his 40s from the Interlake-Eastern health region. The investigation is ongoing.
An additional 1,262 laboratory tests were performed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of tests performed since early February to 79,546.
New pop-up testing site in Winnipeg
As a result of a surge in demand for COVID-19 testing, a new pop-up site has opened at the Access Fort Garry clinic at 135 Plaza Drive in south Winnipeg. The site opened Thursday and will close at 6 p.m. tonight. Regular hours begin Friday and will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.
Winnipeg’s three other community testing sites — Thunderbird House, St. James Centennial Pool, and MPI Main Street — together completed 605 tests on Wednesday, representing a record number of tests for the third day this week.
No appointment is necessary and the sites are open to anyone who is eligible for testing. Officials ask that you bring your Manitoba Health card with you.
The last day of operation for the site located at the St. James Centennial Pool will be Sunday, July 26, when it will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site will be replaced the following day by a new site opening at 604 St. Mary’s Road. That site will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, and will have the same testing capacity as the St. James site.
Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 no longer has to call Health Links — Info Santé to be screened for a test. Anyone with symptoms is still encouraged to use the online screening tool to determine whether they meet the necessary criteria to attend a community testing site.
Watch Thursday’s media briefing:
Further information on COVID-19 can be found at Manitoba.ca/covid19.