Mask mandate dropped
Manitoba returns to “new normal”
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. With this relaxing of public health restrictions, the responsibility now lies on the individual to avoid getting infected.
In Manitoba, public health orders requiring masks in most public places ended on March 15. However, masks will continue to be required for all individuals attending a health-care facility, including visitors.
As previously announced by deputy chief provincial public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal, it’s because the province is now moving on to the endemic stage of its COVID-19 response. Since isolation orders are not in place for other types of infections, the public needs to “learn to live with COVID-19.”
Schools and child-care facilities are encouraged to follow public health guidance but as of March 15, masks are no longer required for staff or students. Physical distancing requirements and cohorts are also no longer required in these settings.
The public health orders for isolation of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 have now been removed. The orders are being transitioned to public health guidelines, similar to how other communicable diseases are managed.
Isolation for COVID-19 is still advised in the following situations:
- People with symptoms should stay home and isolate for five days after symptoms start until they have no fever and other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours;
- Individuals who have tested positive but do not develop symptoms should isolate for five days from the date of the test;
- Individuals should wear a well-fitting, well-made mask if they must have contact with other people while ill or when their isolation is finished for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or the test date if asymptomatic; and
- People who have symptoms or test positive should avoid non-essential visits with higher-risk people or at higher-risk settings for 10 days after the onset of their symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. With this relaxing of public health restrictions, the responsibility now lies on the individual to avoid getting infected. People can continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, staying home when sick, assessing their risk and making decisions about using masks, physical distancing and other actions based on those risks.