New restrictions for Prairie Mountain Health begin Monday after COVID-19 continues to spread

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Manitoba’s Prairie Mountain Health Region will face more restrictions as it moves to orange level under the province’s new pandemic response system, Dr. Brent Roussin said.As of Monday, the size of rallies in western Manitoba will be limited to 10 and masks will be mandatory in public places, Roussin said at a press conference Thursday.

The group sizes will not apply to workplaces, retail outlets or other sites already covered by other parts of the province’s reopening plans, Roussin said.

The mask requirement will apply to all indoor and outdoor public gatherings, although there are still exceptions for medical reasons, he said.

More details on the specifics of the new public health orders will come in the coming days, he said.

The province unveiled a new color-coding system on Wednesday that will allow the government to introduce COVID-19 restrictions that target specific regions, communities or industries in Manitoba.

There were 33 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Thursday, 17 of them in the Prairie Mountain Health area, Roussin said.

Ten more are in the Southern Health Region, while six are in the Winnipeg Health Region, he said.

Some of the more recently announced COVID-19 cases in Manitoba have been linked to the type of large outdoor events that will be affected by new health orders starting Monday, Roussin said.

He reiterated that the people of the province seem to have lost sight of the fundamentals of physical distancing that have kept the number of cases in Manitoba low.

“It’s easy to see why. It’s only human, we’ve been through a lot of times – tough times – and it’s a great summer in Manitoba, and people want to go out and do things and see their friends and family ”, a- he declared.

“But we know that’s the result, that this virus is spread by close and prolonged contact, so we need to increase that level of restriction now, before things get out of hand.” ”

Manitoba announced its 12th death from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. It was the fourth COVID-19-related death reported by the province in less than a week: two more were announced Tuesday and one Saturday. Prior to that, Manitoba had not recorded any deaths from the disease since mid-July.

Premier Brian Pallister also announced that face masks will be mandatory in Manitoba schools for Grades 4 to 12 students, taking what was previously only a strong recommendation a step further. Masks will now be required for students in these classes where physical distancing is not possible.

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