WINNIPEG - Manitoba Shared Health says essential care partners are now required to show they’ve been fully immunized against COVID-19 in order to enter hospitals and other healthcare centres in the province beginning today.
The central health authority says the new requirement applies to anyone who has been identified as an important partner in the ongoing care and recovery of a patient, but exceptions will be made for those supporting patients who are in labour or with delivery and postpartum care, pediatric patients, and patients in end-of-life circumstances.
The agency says other exceptions may be made under circumstances in which care teams deem in-person presence necessary and no suitable alternative is available, but officials say all other unvaccinated essential care partners will need to transition to virtual visits.
The province says it recognizes that the policy may be frustrating for some patients and their families, but stresses that it’s a necessary step in ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on health services relied upon by Manitobans. The province announced more than 20 new cases and four more deaths from the virus on Friday, most of them among people who were unvaccinated.
The move follows the implementation of a similar requirement for all visitors to personal care homes last week. Meanwhile, a COVID-19 outbreak in the Amber Meadow retirement community in Winnipeg has surged to 26 cases and two deaths among its residents after three residents initially tested positive for the virus just a couple of weeks ago.