Beginning on September 1, those entering health-care facilities are required to wear a mask.
On Monday, the province of Manitoba said that masks will be mandatory at all health facilities, with some exceptions.
Primary care clinics are currently not included in the province's mask requirement. Those who have underlying medical conditions that inhibit their ability to wear a mask, as well as children under two years old, are excluded from the new mandate.
“As we move towards the fall, additional proactive and preventative measures are needed to ensure the risk of exposure to this virus is minimized for patients and our dedicated front-line clinical staff who care for them,” Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen says.
Those visiting health-care facilities are asked to bring their own non-medical masks.
"Those who do not have a mask will be notified of locations where they may be purchased. In certain circumstances, they will be provided with one," the province says in a statement.
“Wearing masks provides additional protection for people, particularly in indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible,” Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer says. “Wearing masks in hospitals and health centres will ensure we are all doing what we can to protect ourselves and others from this virus.”
Visitors, including outpatients attending appointments, will need to wear a mask at all times and will not be permitted to enter the medical facilities without one.
This will apply to all hospitals and health centres across the province.
The province says that mandatory masks are already being implemented at personal care homes, where visitors must wear masks indoors.
As of Monday, residents of the Prairie Mountain Health region are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces.
The province says other methods are also being taken at health facilities including:
• appropriate use of personal protective equipment
• enhanced visitor restrictions
• routine deep cleans of clinical departments, including examination and waiting rooms
• daily screening of staff prior to the start of their shifts
• implementation of the single-site staffing model at personal care homes
The province says these measures are being taken to protect staff, patients, and visitors in Manitoba health facilities.