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Pandemic Restrictions Continue to Ease in Manitoba

As you visit the store or on your commute to work, you may have noticed a notable change as many of Manitoba’s public health restrictions came to an end on March 15, 2022.

This follows the initial removal of the proof of vaccination requirements on March 1. 

Public health orders requiring mask-wearing in public places end at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15. However, masks will continue to be required for all individuals attending a healthcare facility, including visitors. Throughout the province, individuals may continue to wear masks in various settings based on their preference, personal risk or other reasons.  

Schools and child-care facilities continue to follow public health guidance on mask use, meaning they will no longer be required for staff or students. Physical distancing requirements and cohorts are also no longer required in these settings. 

Though orders have been lifted, public health will continue to monitor positive cases and severe outcomes related to COVID-19 and provide updated information to Manitobans. 

Additionally:

  • Public health orders restricting travel to northern Manitoba will end;
  • Individual case investigations related to COVID-19 will no longer occur, and Manitoba will no longer generate key codes for the federal COVID Alert app; and
  • Public health will no longer require people who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate.

Public health continues to recommend people isolate themselves in the following situations:

  • People with symptoms should stay home and isolate for five days after symptoms start until they have no fever and other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours;
  • Individuals who have tested positive but do not develop symptoms should isolate for five days from the date of the test;
  • Individuals should wear a well-fitting, well-made mask if they must have contact with other people while ill or when their isolation is finished for ten days after the onset of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic; and
  • People who have symptoms or test positive should avoid non-essential visits with higher-risk people or at higher-risk settings for ten days after the onset of their symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.

While public health orders were lifted on March 15, healthcare facilities throughout the province will continue to require a mask worn by anyone present in the facility, including outpatients, visitors and healthcare workers. This policy reflects the role the health system plays in the services and care it provides daily to thousands of patients, residents and clients, of which many are at increased risk of severe illness if they become infected with COVID-19.

“Wearing a mask in a medical facility helps to keep everybody protected, especially when COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. ​”Clinics, hospitals and other health facilities must offer a safe environment, especially when many who seek medical care could be at increased risk from COVID-19.” 

Specific precautions may vary based on the clinical environment, but generally, these measures include:

  • Requiring patients and visitors to screen and report COVID-19 symptoms before entering;
  • Requiring patients and visitors to wear masks;
  • Continuing the use of personal protective equipment by physicians and staff;
  • Offering virtual visits as an option for some medical issues;

Doctors Manitoba has launched New​COVID​Nor​mal​.ca to help Manitobans understand the current risks, who are more vulnerable, and what everyone can do to help.

View Manitoba’s COVID-19 Health System Recovery Plan at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-recovery-plan.pdf.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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