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Manitoba tightens COVID-19 restrictions due to variant

People arrive to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, January 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Manitoba lifts exemption allowing some people in same household as COVID-19 patient to avoid self-isolation

Minimum time someone in Manitoba must spend with a patient to be considered a 'contact' drops to 10 minutes

Saskatchewan reports first cases of COVID-19 variants with no links to travel

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Manitoba government is tightening up its COVID-19 measures due to the growing threat of faster-spreading variants.

An exemption allowing some people in the same household as a COVID-19 patient to avoid self-isolation has been lifted. The minimum amount of time someone has to spend with a patient in order to be considered a “contact” has also dropped to 10 minutes.

Enforcement of public health orders in Manitoba resulted in 27 tickets last week and the province says one of the people enforcing those orders was assaulted while on duty.

B.C. has yet to implement stricture restrictions now that the variants have been detected, however, the Fraser Health Authority has increased its testing in schools.

Saskatchewan is reporting its first cases of COVID-19 variants with no links to travel. Health officials say the B.1.1.7 strain was found in two residents in the Regina area, and there is another presumptive case from an acute care patient transferred to Saskatoon from out of province.

The B.1.351 variant was also discovered in the province’s north central region.

The province announced 122 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths. There are 174 people in hospital, with 16 people in intensive care.

Meanwhile, daily case numbers are holding steady in central Canada, with Quebec reporting 739 new cases, and Ontario saw 975.

In Newfoundland and Labrador where the B.1.1.7 variant has brought a resurgence of the virus, the chief medical officer of health expressed optimism over the progress being made. Fourteen new infections were reported in the province during the last update after 10 days of lockdown.

New Brunswick reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.