'There will be a new normal': Manitoba starting to look at ways to ease health orders
Published Wednesday, April 22, 2020 1:28PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Provincial health officials said the province is looking at ways to ease some of the public health orders in Manitoba as the COVID-19 case tally continues to stay low.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer, said people must stick to social distancing measures for now, but changes could come soon.
"In the coming weeks, we are going to be looking at ways we can ease these restrictions. We are going to look at ways to safely reopen certain non-essential businesses, while others will remain closed," said Roussin.
"This will not be a return to normal, there will be a new normal for the foreseeable future."
Roussin also said a 10-person limit on public gatherings might be raised in the near future.
Premier Brian Pallister echoed similar comments on Wednesday.
"What I'm going to be telling you next week is ... a game plan that we can follow -- provided that we don't place additional unnecessary risks on our population -- to get our economy and our social life back on track," said Pallister.
Pallister said church services and dine-in restaurants might be able to restart at some point.
But it is clear that large crowds, including public attendance at major sporting events, are a long way off.
Roussin said as the province works on moving towards a new normal it must be cautious and monitor case numbers before the next steps can be taken.
"We have a list of criteria that need to be in place that will make it safe to gradually reopen things," he said.
Roussin added when businesses start to reopen, health officials will have to monitor and assess those openings before they move forward with more.
Roussin didn't provide many other details but did mention that Manitobans should expect to hear more about when this could start happening next week.