With 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths linked to people living in personal care homes, the Province is planning to build outdoor shelters for people to safely visit their friends and family.

"Despite advances in technology that have allowed for virtual visits, this pandemic has taught us that nothing can replicate a face-to-face visit," Health Minister and Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen explains. "Today’s announcement shows that once again Manitobans are innovative, resilient and kind-hearted."

Officials say the shelters will help ensure infection control measures while finding the balance between safety and important human contact.

Friesen says they hope to have the first shelters under construction by the end of this summer. He notes they expect to build a shelter at the province's 127 personal care homes.

However, he adds they're open to other solutions if a facility has a similar structure or space that would perform the same function.