Manitoba health orders extended for another two weeks

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s provincial health orders have been extended for another two weeks, as health officials say more time is needed to see the full impact holiday gatherings have had on COVID-19 case numbers.

On Friday morning, the day when Manitoba’s current round of health orders were set to expire, the province announced it would be extending the Code Red health orders and restrictions until Jan. 22, 2021.

The province said the only change in the orders are some exemptions for professional hockey. It said under the extended orders, all professional hockey teams (not just Winnipeg-based teams) will be allowed to play games and do training, as well as allow athletes and affiliated officials an exemption to the self-isolation rule.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets given go-ahead for upcoming NHL season in Manitoba

The province said over the next two weeks, health officials will be monitoring for potential spikes in cases as a result of holiday gatherings – something the province has already seen.

In the release, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said there have already been 355 cases and nearly 1,900 close contacts linked to holiday gatherings. He said that number is expected to increase in the coming days.

“That is why we’re extending the public health orders with a minor adjustment,” he said. “We need to continue to protect our families and friends by staying home as much as possible.”

The province said it will be consulting Manitobans next week about feedback on changes to future health orders.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

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