The Province says that plans are underway for visitor shelters at personal care homes.

Dr. Brent Roussin says to stick to the fundamentals when visiting people in care homes. Similar to airplane safety recommendations, he says to put personal health first.

"With this virus, when we talk 'we are all in it together,' we mean it. The best way to protect others is to protect yourself," Roussin says. "We know how important that visitation is but as we move in, we know that it is never without risk."

The doctor says frequent handwashing, staying home when ill and practicing physical distancing are all important steps in taking care of our health and will reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

"If you have a loved one in a vulnerable situation, doing whatever you can to protect yourself will protect them."

Roussin says that when visiting facilities, it is important to wear a mask and keep up with hand hygiene. The doctor says that when he is in public, he wears a mask and keeps one on his person. 

Indoor and outdoor visits are permitted for most care homes, with some having more restrictions than others. Currently, many care homes in Prairie Mountain, Fairview personal care home, Hillcrest Place personal care home, and Rideau Park personal care home are coded are Red: Critical. In Steinbach, Bethesda Place is in Red: Critical. These care homes have additional visitor restrictions in place. 

Families wanting to visit their loved ones but are being cautious about visiting the facility may soon have something to look forward to.

While cases may be rising in the province, Health Minister Cameron Friesen says following the lead other regions and closing facilities to the public is "not good enough" of an option for Manitobans.

Over two months ago, the province gave a June 26 deadline for conceptual designs to create visiting shelters for personal care homes. On Monday, Friesen says that they have since awarded a contract.

"We have awarded a contract in the co-visitation shelter," Friessen says. "There are going to be significant alterations to be able to accommodate the space within."

There will be two types of shelters, ones that are linked to care homes, and ones that are inside care homes.

"It is ambitious. We have a lot of efforts underway."

Friesen says the shelters are on track and expects the shelters to be functional early in the fall.