Length of self-isolation for COVID-19 could decrease in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — The number of days in which Manitobans have to self-isolate after being exposed to COVID-19 could change.

On Wednesday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer, said the province is reviewing new recommendations in the United States, allowing some people to end their isolation after seven to 10 days.

Terrianne Lea recently took a trip to the U.S. to spend time with her grandchildren.

She has returned to Manitoba and is now isolating.

“Little projects at home and cleaning and working out at home, working out every day, of course, taekwondo. Everything like that is what keeps me sane,” said Lea.

She has been isolating for a week and hasn’t developed any symptoms. She said some days have felt long.

“But I am getting used to it.”

The new recommendations from the U.S. would see people quarantine for 10 days if they don’t develop symptoms and seven for someone who tests negative.

However, Dr. Brent Roussin said anytime you shorten the period of isolation, there is a trade off.

“With it, there’s always that risk, there’s always a few more percentage points of people who might be infectious after that,” said Roussin.

The new recommendations do ask people to self-monitor for four more days after their isolation.

Lea said a shorter quarantine would be nice, but, since Manitoba is under code red restrictions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.

“It’s why I went. I have all the time in the world. Otherwise I would never be able to take three weeks away from everything that I do,” said Lea.

The advice from Health Canada hasn’t changed for people are returning from international travel, as it still recommends self-isolation for 14 days.

A spokesperson for Health Canada said that health guidelines evolve as the knowledge and understanding about COVID-19 does.

They added the government’s priority has been and will continue to be the health and safety of all Canadians.

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