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Manitoba Seeks Feedback on Easing Some Restrictions

June 4, 2021 3:45 PM | News

Dr. Brent Roussin

Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin speaks during the daily briefing at the Manitoba Legislative Building, in Winnipeg, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski)

WINNIPEG — With Manitoba’s tight COVID-19 restrictions set to expire on June 12, the province is looking at how to gradually and safely reopen.

A survey on EngageMB.ca was launched on Friday, seeking feedback from the public on their priorities for the potential easing of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

“While our seven-day case average begins to drop and our vaccine numbers increase, our hospitals are still full of Manitobans facing severe outcomes from the virus,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, in a release.

“It is crucial Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals so we do not slip back into the high case numbers we were seeing just a few weeks ago. At the same time, we can have hope that by getting vaccinated and following the public health orders, an easing and eventual end of the restrictions lies ahead and we can get back to some sense of ‘normal.’”

The survey includes questions identifying priorities such as gradually expanding retail shopping, reopening barbershops and salons, restaurants, and gyms and fitness centres, and lifting restrictions on non-regulated health professions, faith-based and ceremonial gatherings, and outdoor organized recreation and sport, as well as possible increases to indoor, outdoor gathering sizes on public property and households.

“I think we’re in a tough spot here still,” said Dr. Jazz Atwal, the province’s deputy chief public health officer, at a news conference earlier in the day.

“If we do loosen something, I don’t expect it would be major changes to the (health) orders, to be quite frank. It’ll be subtle changes.”

The survey also asks how likely someone would be to get their vaccine if certain restrictions were lifted for only those who are fully vaccinated (two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine).

Manitoba reported 329 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as well as four deaths.