Birth alerts will continue for now, Manitoba Families Minister says

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Families Minister says the practice of birth alerts will continue in the province for now, saying with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is not the time to make big changes.

The province had previously announced that it would end the controversial practice that allows hospitals to flag new mothers to child welfare agencies on April 1.

READ MORE:Manitoba government to end controversial practice of birth alerts in April

But that deadline has been pushed back as the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the province.

“Manitoba is focused on the COVID-19 response to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect the health of all Manitobans,” Health Minister Heather Stefanson said. “While we are committed to ending birth alerts, now is not the time to implement a broad system change that would put additional pressure on our health care system at a difficult time.”

Stefanson said the province will proceed with its plan to end birth alerts, “as soon as it’s safe and feasible to do so.”

This is a developing story. More to come.