Manitoba's top doctor has provided an explanation for why the province is not proposing to change the limits on household visitor restrictions.
On Jan. 23, the public health order was expanded to allow two designated people (family or friends) to visit a household. Under the order, outdoor visits are allowed of up to five people, plus members of a household on an outdoor private property.
Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says expanding the number of people allowed in a home is certainly something they consider during their deliberations. However, Roussin says in the end it all comes down to tradeoffs.
"We know with this virus it's interactions that result in transmission," explains Dr. Roussin. "The more person to person interaction you have, especially in enclosed spaces, crowded spaces, prolonged indoor contact, puts us at risk."
For example, Roussin says if they increase the number of people allowed to visit a household, the tradeoff might need to be keeping restaurants closed. Or, they can do what is now being proposed, which is opening restaurants with reduced capacity, but not changing restrictions on household visits.
"These are the type of balancing things we do," he says.
The province is asking for feedback from Manitobans on the proposed changes, which would come into effect next week to replace the current public health orders that expire at 11:59 pm on Feb. 12.