COVID-19 update set for 12:30 p.m. as Manitoba enters first day of new relaxed restrictions

Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin will give an update on COVID-19 in the province on first day of further relaxed restrictions.

CBC News will live stream the news conference with Roussin here and on social media at 12:30 p.m. CT.

The new orders that come into effect today allow a broad range of businesses to reopen at reduced capacity. 

That includes restaurants, gyms and personal services businesses such as tattoo parlours and nail salons to reopen at 25 per cent capacity. Restaurants and lounges are only permitted to serve people in household groups. 

Museums, art galleries and libraries can also operate at 25 per cent capacity, while places of worship can hold services again but cannot exceed 10 per cent of their usual capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower. 

The province has said it plans to reduce COVID-19 restrictions gradually, with incremental change every three weeks. 

On Thursday, the province announced three more deaths and 90 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as the test positivity rate dropped below five per cent in the province for the first time since Oct. 21. 

Earlier this week, Roussin announced the arrival of the coronavirus variant first seen in the U.K., which is more transmissible.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, said Manitoba can now tell whether the variant is detected in positive COVID-19 cases within 48 hours. The province didn’t have that ability before, he said.