WINNIPEG -- The extra health restrictions in Manitoba's Prairie Mountain Health Region are being eased after COVID-19 cases dropped in the area.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said as of Friday, Sept. 18, the health region will be lowered to the COVID-19 caution level, or yellow, on the province's pandemic response system, which means restrictions will be eased.

"Manitobans in the Prairie Mountain Health Region really stepped up in August until now to really flatten that curve again and bring down those numbers," Roussin said.

Under the previous restrictions, group sizes were capped at 10 people both indoors and outdoors. As of Friday, public gatherings have been increased to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

The physical distancing measures will remain in place.

There are a number of places within the region that are still restricted due to outbreaks at personal care homes.

As of Thursday, the following areas remain under the critical level:

  • Brandon Regional Health Centre - Assiniboine Building, second Floor;
  • Fairview personal care home in Brandon;
  • Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon;
  • Rideau Park personal care home in Brandon; and
  • Carberry Plains Health Centre.

Roussin said when the entire region was placed under restrictions on Aug. 24 cases were spiking with 240 active cases. As of Thursday, the Prairie Mountain Health Region had only 38 active cases.

Roussin said the test-positivity rate peaked at 5.6 per cent, which dropped to 0.4 per cent as of Thursday.

"What this shows is something we all know – is that we know how to deal with this virus," Roussin said.

"We know what to do to limit our risks, but we know that we have to stick to those fundamentals."