Mask-wearing will no longer be mandated when visiting the CW Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler, beginning Wednesday, May 10th. Following updated guidance from Shared Health, the clinic is making the move in partnership with the Boundary Trails Health Centre. The return to routine practice, as recommended by Shared Health, is being implemented across medical and long-term care facilities across the province.

The change means the clinic will no longer require masks to be worn by physicians, staff, patients, visitors, or others within the Clinic where routine practices and additional precautions are not required.

In a statement emailed to PembinaValleyOnline, the clinic also stated patients may actively request their healthcare provider wear a mask while providing their care, especially if they are at significant risk of severe outcomes if potentially exposed to respiratory illness.

Symptomatic patients will likely still be asked to wear a mask for the safety of everyone around them. "This will be particularly important to continue in Urgent Care."

The new guidelines will also request physicians/staff experiencing mild symptoms after returning to the Clinic after being ill to still wear a mask as well.

"We will continue to be a “Mask-Friendly Environment” supporting anyone who chooses to continue wearing a mask - These changes are significant for health care, and we anticipate there will be varied levels of comfort amongst physicians, staff, patients, and visitors, with some being ecstatic and others being apprehensive. Therefore, we want to be respectful and compassionate to personal choices."