On the day when Manitoba officially increased the province's maximum gathering size, officials announced two new COVID-19 cases, both in Winnipeg. These are the first two positive tests in the province since May 18.
Over 800 tests were processed by provincial labs May 21, pushing Manitoba's total tests above 37,000.
There was no daily briefing from the province May 22.
The province released details of its phase two reopening plan May 21 and is asking for public comment. Phase two could include some loosening of the restrictions and allowing Manitobans living below the 53rd parallel to directly travel to campgrounds or lodges. Currently, all non-essential travel into northern Manitoba from the south is barred. Northerners are able to travel within the region or travel into the south and back but are discouraged from travel by health officials.
Manitoba officials also announced they have begun testing asymptomatic people on a larger scale. The province's testing capacity has gone up, but demand for tests has remained low.
Manitoba residents are now allowed to gather in larger groups. Starting May 22, gatherings of up to 25 indoors and up to 50 outdoors are now allowed under public health orders. Before May 22, only gatherings of up to 10 people were permitted.
After a series of outbreaks in northern Saskatchewan, active COVID-19 cases in the province are now under 100.
The province reported five new cases of the disease May 22, with four cases reported in the far north. Along with those five new cases were 12 more reported recoveries from the disease. Active cases remain in all six provincial health districts, with 91 of the 99 active cases remaining either in the north or far north.
The Saskatchewan government confirmed its plans to push ahead to the third stage of its reopening plans June 8.
Provincial health officials also provided advice on mask use for the first time, following guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHA). PHA now recommends wearing non-medical masks while out and about in communities, especially where physical distancing is difficult to enforce.
Officials advised to avoid touching the masks once worn, not sharing masks with others and washing masks carefully after each use.
“The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to continue to stay home as much as possible, practice physical distancing, frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and cover your cough or sneezes with tissues or your sleeve,” read a statement issued by the province.