|Date:||March 10, 2022|
|To:||All Health-Care Workers|
|From:||Provincial COVID-19 Incident Command|
|Re:||Masks Continue to be Required in Health-Care Facilities|
Across Manitoba, health-care facilities and health-care workers continue to provide care and services to patients, residents and clients, including many who are at increased risk of severe illness if they become infected with COVID-19.
With planned changes to public health orders effective March 15, 2022, masks will continue to be required (and must be worn) by anyone present in a health-care facility, including outpatients, visitors, and health-care workers.
While we are all looking forward to a return to more normal operations, we have determined, in consultation with infection prevention and control experts, that ongoing mask use is an appropriate measure in our efforts to prevent the spread of this virus within facilities where vulnerable populations seek and receive care.
Screening of patients and visitors for symptoms and exposure will continue, and a medical mask will be provided to anyone who enters a health-care facility. Health-care workers are also expected to self-screen and to follow all return to work guidance if they test positive for OR develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
An update on the ongoing requirement that masks be worn in health-care settings will be provided to the public later today. We will be encouraging all patients, visitors and staff to exercise patience and understanding as we continue with measures that are necessary to keep everyone safe.
Exceptions to this requirement have not changed and include children under the age of five and anyone who is medically unable to safely wear a mask. Clinical judgment will continue to guide decisions related to individuals who cannot wear a mask.
Visitor guidelines, mask requirements and return to work requirements are being regularly reviewed by experts in infection prevention and control and occupational and environmental safety and health.
Updates will be shared as they are available.