WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer said the general public and anyone who isn’t ill should not be wearing a mask in public.

“We should save those masks for the people who need them,” said Dr. Brent Roussin. “For Manitobans who are not ill, and just the general public, I do not advise wearing masks, I advise against wearing masks.”

Dr. Roussin said masks should be kept for people who are ill and healthcare workers who are assessing and taking care of ill people.

“There is no benefit to the general public,” he added.

Instead, Dr. Roussin said people should follow physical-distancing guidelines outline by provincial health officals.

“If you’re really concerned about contracting the virus, stay home, wash your hands, and if you do go out maintain that physical distancing,” he said.


Lanette Siragusa, Chief Nursing Officer for Shared Health, said Monday they are adequately supplied right now and have stocks available.

“But we have to continue to take every step to make sure that we maintain preparation for a virus that has overwhelmed health system in other parts of the world,” said Siragusa.

She noted that the requirements and challenges the health care industry is facing changes daily. “They require swift action and constant surveillance and contingency planning.”

Siragusa also noted that part of the challenges they face is the closure of some borders and the stalls in production in parts of the world, “Which affect our ability to source and acquire the equipment and supplies that we need,” she said.


Monday, Siragusa recognized the impact a new health order – which will come into effect on April 1 – will have on Manitoba businesses, “The effects of COVID-19 are being felt far beyond health-care providers working throughout the province,” said Siragusa.

“I want to express our appreciation and continued support from businesses who are offering their supplies including the N95 respirators for use in the health system.”

She noted several businesses have inquired about how they can help and said more details will be available Tuesday to help connect businesses with Shared Health.

“For any company who has supplies on hand, even if you’re not sure if they’d be useful, we’d be happy to connect with you,” said Siragusa.