Starting next month, anybody visiting a Manitoba health-care centre or hospital will have to wear a face mask, the health minister announced Monday.
As of Sept. 1, visitors must arrive at hospitals and health-care facilities with their own non-medical masks, and those who don’t have one will be told where to buy one.
In certain circumstances, visitors will be provided with one, says a news release issued on Monday.
The requirement extends to outpatients going to appointments at clinics within hospitals and health centres throughout the province.
“As we move towards the fall, additional proactive and preventative measures are needed to ensure the risk of exposure to this virus is minimized for patients and our dedicated front-line clinical staff who care for them,” said Cameron Friesen in a release.
Primary care clinics and other locations providing health services are not currently included in the mask requirement, but all Manitobans are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical mask, Friesen said.
Masks should be used on top of proper hand hygiene and physical distancing, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said. People should stay home when they’re sick.
“Wearing masks provides additional protection for people, particularly in indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible,” Roussin said in the news release.
“Wearing masks in hospitals and health centres will ensure we are all doing what we can to protect ourselves and others from this virus.”
Masks have been mandatory at personal care homes for more than a month.
They are also mandatory in the Prairie Mountain Health Region in all public indoor places because of a spike in cases in the area.
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