Coronavirus: Slow start Saturday at The Forks as gathering place reopens with restrictions

Saturday saw a subdued start for The Forks as shops and restaurants reopen in the Winnipeg gathering place while the number of active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba continue to fall.

That meant dozens of people physically distanced on the bar patio or benches outside, while indoor food hall seating remains closed to comply with restrictions in Manitoba’s phase one reopening plan, rather than the typical thousands of people who might flock to The Forks on a warm Saturday.

“It’s nice to see people back here, it’s a slow start to a Saturday which I think is great — it’s giving people time to get used to coming back to a public space,” said Clare McKay, The Forks’ strategic initiative vice president. “Our idea of what a lot of people is has become quite different, normally there might be thousands of people down here, right now there’s maybe 50.”

Sean Dolenuck and his stepson Jasper Fosty enjoyed the afternoon out as everyday life returns to a degree of normalcy.

“It’s definitely nice to get out of the house and get back to a little bit of normalcy and seeing people and being at The Forks which is Winnipeg’s great destination, see people, see things opening again, slowly but surely,” Dolenuck said. “It’s refreshing, it’s reminding us that we’re going to get back to society eventually and ultimately we’ve all been working hard as Winnipeggers, Manitobans to just flatten that curve.”

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Plus Fosty got the French fries he craved.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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