WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg has cancelled its spring curbside giveaway weekend in order to help slow the spread of COVID.

The weekend, which was originally scheduled for May 9 and 10, 2020, is meant to help residents find new homes for their unwanted items by placing them at the curb and marking them as “free.”

Jay Shaw, assistant manager of the city’s operation centre, said at a news conference on Friday that COVID-19 is spread by droplets and they don’t want to risk people putting out items that aren’t properly cleaned.

“We don’t want to encourage, at this point, a giveaway weekend where individuals could be taking in materials that potentially are unclean,” he said.

“We’re also trying to tell people to stay home, so it’s a little bit of a mixed message, these are challenging times for everyone. We want people to stay home, wherever possible, follow safe practices of social distancing and the giveaway weekend right now encourages a lot of people to get out and we’re just encouraging people to keep following the social distancing.”

The next curbside giveaway weekend is scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13.