Two Manitoba Hutterite colonies on voluntary lockdown after COVID-19 cases
WINNIPEG -- Two Manitoba Hutterite colonies have decided to go into voluntary lockdown after five COVID-19 cases were linked to the communities.
Public health officials announced the five cases of COVID-19 on Friday afternoon.
The government could not identify the colonies but said the cases are all in the Interlake-Eastern Health Region.
The cases include a man and woman in their 60s, a man and woman in their 30s, and a woman in her 20s.
Mark Waldner, a spokesman for the Hutterian Safety Council, said the colonies are being careful of the virus.
"What's strongly encouraging to me is how many communities, not just the two impacted ones, are taking this seriously," said Waldner.
The two colonies on lockdown have implemented many extra precautions.
"They are basically prohibiting visitors, they are ceasing worship services for now and also communal meals," said Waldner. "So any of the higher risk activities are being put on hold until they get a clean bill of health."
Waldner said the colonies are also contacting local businesses and telling them about the cases.
The lockdown is a major, but necessary disruption to the daily life of the Hutterite colonies, said Waldner.
"We are a very, very social people with a lot of interacting typically in our communities," he said.
Even with the extra precautions, people are still a little uneasy in the colonies.
"Everyone is in heightened awareness," said Waldner.