Manitoba to allow indoor care home visits starting Tuesday
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is working on making it easier for Manitobans to visit people at personal care homes.
Cameron Friesen, the Health, Seniors, and Active Living Minister, announced Monday morning that the province is starting to allow indoor visits at care homes starting on Tuesday.
He said for those who visit, precautions will need to be taken.
"There will be a check-in to make sure that you can answer questions that will give confidence to the operator that you haven't been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or you haven't travelled outside of the province," he said. "You will be required to wear a non-medical mask for the visit.
"That visit very well might take place not in the resident's room, but in a room where the operator of the personal care home has adequate space to facilitate that visit."
Friesen said this would be business as usual and that the indoor visits won't be for just anyone.
"They will be for the designated caregivers of residents of personal care homes," he said.
The province is also developing outdoor shelters so families can visit with care home residents safely.
Friesen said the province will be asking Manitobans for feedback on the designs of the new shelters.
The shelters would be near the care homes and would be open year-round.
Friesen said the plan is to have at least one shelter at all 127 care homes in Manitoba. He added there would be specific guidelines for these structures.
"They will have to be adjacent to personal care homes. You can't have residents outside for a long time. They will have to be wheelchair accessible. They have to have very specific heating and ventilation components. They will have to have surfaces that are easily cleanable," said Friesen.
He feels more than one visitor would be allowed in these shelters, but added there will need to be someone to help transport the residents to the structures, and to monitor the interactions.
Friesen added the hope is construction will be underway by August and that the finished product would come by the end of September.
Friesen also announced that inspections at care homes, which were suspended when the pandemic started, will resume and residents at personal care homes will also be able to get haircuts again starting on Tuesday.