The new COVID-19 rules Prairie Mountain Health has to follow

By | August 24, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Prairie Mountain Health Region is officially under the restricted level of Manitoba’s pandemic response system.

The level was announced last week, and as of Aug. 24, includes rules regarding gathering sizes and mandatory masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

As of Monday, there are 196 active COVID-19 cases in Prairie Mountain Health. Of the cases, 114 are in Brandon, while 52 are in the Asessippi health district.

On Monday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer, announced more details about the new measures in the region.

Here are the new measures that are now in effect for at least two weeks:

MANDATORY MASKS

Masks are now mandatory in all indoor public spaces and outdoor public gatherings in the region.

Roussin said there are some exceptions to the mask requirements.

The exceptions include children under the age of five, as well as people who are unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person.

A person with a medical condition unrelated to COVID-19, including breathing or cognitive difficulties or a disability that prevents them from safely wearing a mask, is also exempt from the mandatory mask requirement.

“Masks are not required if people are able to be seated at least two metres from others, and there is a non-permeable physical barrier, including a Plexiglas barrier,” he said.

Masks can be temporarily removed to receive a service that requires the removal of a mask, while eating food or drink, while dealing with a medical emergency or purpose, to establish identity, and to engage in an athletic or fitness activity, including water-based activities.

The mask must be worn to cover the mouth, nose, and chin.

GATHERING SIZE RESTRICTIONS

Gatherings are limited to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors. The limits include weddings, funerals, banquets, receptions, and professional sporting activities.

Roussin said more than 10 members of the public can attend a business or a facility that is allowed to open under the orders if physical distancing measures are in place to allow people to maintain a distance of at least two metres.

“For instance, a restaurant isn’t set at a maximum of 10 people,” he said. “The restaurant has to follow the orders that are in place right now, which requires that two-metre separation between tables.”

HOW WILL THIS BE ENFORCED?

Roussin said during the press conference the province will begin by focusing on education for people in the region about the new health measures, but said enforcement options are available.

“The enforcement, if necessary, can take the manner of how we enforced other aspects of the public health orders,” he said. “Tickets could be levied, but again, for the most part, our most success we get is to educate people and try to get people in compliance.”

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