WINNIPEG -- As part of the first phase of Manitoba’s reopening plan, daycares will not be resuming regular operations, but the province’s chief public health officer did reveal what it will take to get them going again.

Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference on Monday that what would be most useful for daycares is making sure no one with any illness attends the facilities, frequent handwashing and physical distancing as much as possible.

“Certainly there’s some limitations of (physical distancing) in younger kids, but there are strategies to limit certain things and look for symptoms on anyone during the day,” he said.

Roussin noted the virus is spread through close, prolonged contact, but generally through people who are displaying symptoms. He said this is why daycare employees shouldn’t go to work even if they have mild symptoms and children shouldn’t be able to attend if they have any illness.

“So those are the real big things going forward and that’s really going to apply to any workplace that’s going to apply to any public place,” he said.

“It’s going to be very vital that people not go out when they are ill.”

Back in March the province suspended most of its child-care services, though child-care facilities and early childhood educators were deemed essential services. 

In order to minimize risk though, the province has mandated that licensed childcare centres can only have a maximum of 16 kids, home-based childcare providers can only care for a maximum of eight kids, and they must all implement enhanced protocols for hygiene and infection prevention.