The Pas Local News Archives for 2020-04

COVID-19 BULLETIN #67

Public health officials advise two new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 275.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care;
•    49 active cases and 220 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 424 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 24,723.

Public Health orders restricting staff from working in more than one licensed personal care home (PCH) have been signed and will take effect May 1. The single-site restriction is intended to provide additional protection against the introduction and/or spread of the COVID-19 virus within PCHs.

In recognition of the vulnerability of the PCH population to severe illness and/or death related to the virus, provincial planning has been underway to ensure the change is able to be implemented quickly while ensuring stable staffing and service continuity. Of the 127 licensed PCHs in Manitoba, 121 have confirmed readiness, with work ongoing to address staffing issues at the remaining sites by the weekend.

It is important to note that while some gradual lifting or restrictions has begun, significant work to limit the spread of COVID-19 must continue. Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities. The request to stay home as much as possible is still in place at this time. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only. Visits to cottages are not recommended at this time. Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

A new drive-thru community testing site will open Friday in Swan River, at the Manitoba Public Insurance facility, 125 Fourth Ave. North. Hours of operation will be daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is Manitoba’s 16th community testing site and ninth drive-thru location.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Businesses with questions about how the new orders apply to them should visit www.engagemb.ca.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

MAHCP on expanded testing

With the province doubling its capacity for COVID-19 testing in the wake of the re-opening on Monday, the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is questioning why the government went with Dynacare as opposed to Shared Health.

 

Bob Moroz says the association is wondering why Manitoba is increasing capacity by enlisting a private lab when the province has a functioning public lab system that can take on the capacity with the right investment.

 

Moroz explains that the announcement came as a surprise to the MAHCP, as they’ve been in talks with both Shared Health and the union representing Cadham Provincial Lab employees, and talks of privatization didn’t come up.

 

He adds that the association has members from both Shared Health and Dynacare, and he’s concerned that Dynacare’s staff in Manitoba may not get that extra work, as it’s to his understanding that the tests are being sent to Dynacare’s lab in Brampton, Ontario.

 

That in turn could increase the turnover time in which tests results are sent back to patients in Manitoba.

 

When asked to clarify where the tests allocated to Dynacare are being sent to be analyzed, Premier Brian Pallister says that Manitobans don’t care where the tests are done, just that they get the tests when they need it, and Dynacare’s employment opportunities are ramping up in the province.

Niki Ashton MP Report "Remaining on high Alert for COVID 19"

Niki Ashton’s newest MP report says we must remain on high Alert for COVID 19.

 

Her report acknowledged that we have been fortunate to have a limited number of cases in our region and that people would like to see things reopen as soon as possible but moving too quickly could have a devastating impact.

 

Limiting exposure will still be vital and the ability to track and trace infection and provide testing will be essential and we should remain conscious of the fact that there will be more impacts of this pandemic in the future with the possibility of another wave or waves.

 

Ashton wants to thank communities that have taken initiative during this shutdown and thanks northerners that have followed all of the public health recommendations.

Manitoba to Ease Restrictions on Businesses Starting Monday

The Manitoba Government announced that they will be easing COVID 19 restrictions starting on Monday.

 

Dentists, physiotherapists, retail stores, hair salons, and restaurant patios will be allowed to continue operating at no more than 50 percent capacity.

 

Other public places such as libraries, campgrounds, and museums will be allowed to reopen as long as they maintain physical distancing measures.

 

The ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and the travel restrictions will remain in effect but the limit on gatherings could be raised later on in May if the cases remain low in the province.

 

The second phase of easing restrictions could see the reopening of dine in restaurants, nail salons, and allowing non contact children’s sports.

 

Mass gatherings such as concerts and sports events will not be permitted until at least September.

 

 

CFIB Update

The CFIB’s Director for the Prairies spoke to Arctic Radio to recap some of the major assistance programs that were announced or expanded upon this past week.

 

Jonathan Alward says Manitoba was the first province to announce that they are partnering with the federal government on the commercial rent assistance program, pledging 16 million dollars to help independent businesses pay their rent for April, May, and June.

 

Alward has heard some concerns with the way the program is set up, and how some small businesses that need that help won’t be able to access it.

 

Some businesses are slightly below the 70 per cent threshold but are struggling to stay afloat, and that there are also worries that their landlords won’t take part in the program.

 

The CFIB will continue to lobby Ottawa for changes in this regard so that the program can expand to help more businesses.

 

If you’re a small business owner and are looking for resources or advice to help you through the pandemic, visit cfib.ca

COVID-19 BULLETIN #66 April 29th

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 has been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 273.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care;
•    54 active cases and 213 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 448 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 24,304.

Today, health officials released information about the models developed in Manitoba to inform the management plan for the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba. A model for the spread of COVID-19 was created, using data and information available in the scientific literature from other jurisdictions and with input from experts in Manitoba.  
 
Officials noted that modelling results are always an abstraction and cannot project all possible outcomes. Outbreaks also evolve and change over time as public health measures are put in place and people’s behaviour changes. Therefore, these projections must be constantly revised. As new information is received, officials will continue to refine the projections, models and health advice for Manitobans.
 
Current models show that:
•    under routine public health measures, which include case interviews and contact tracing but which do not include social and physical distancing or travel restrictions, modeling suggests Manitoba would have had 933 cases by April 25. If that trend had continued, there would have been more than 2,000 cases by mid-May. However, the number of cases on April 25 was 267.
•    under current public health measures, Manitoba could expect approximately 6,250 cases if the current measures remain in place for a year.
•    the Manitoba health-care system has 2,432 acute care medical and surgical hospital beds. As of April 26, 977 of these beds were currently vacant and available for COVID-19 patients, a 40 per cent vacancy rate. This shows Manitoba is well within hospital capacity at this time.
•    the Manitoba health-care system has 86 adult intensive care hospital beds. As of April 22, 29 of these beds were vacant and available for COVID-19 patients, a 34 per cent vacancy rate. This shows Manitoba is well within intensive care capacity at this time.
 
This data supports the easing of public health measures, as announced earlier today. Officials also noted that planning is underway to add an additional 300 beds and an additional 100 intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients, if needed. Additional capacity options are being investigated if they are necessary.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

Issues with Homelessness and the Oscars Place Homeless Shelter Brought up at Town Council Meeting

The interim Chairperson at the Oscars Place Homeless Shelter was present at Mondays night’s council meeting to discuss the current issues that the shelter is facing. With social distancing measures in place due to the COVID 19 crisis the shelter capacity has been affected.

 

Another point brought up is the misconception that homeless people on the streets are being sheltered and this is simply not the case. Many people staying at the shelter are not from the area and the shelter hasn’t prevented vagrants and homelessness in the community.

 

The full discussion on the homeless shelter can be viewed online on the Town of The Pas You Tube Channel

Opaskwayak Well Being Survey 2020

Opaskwayak Cree Nation is currently conducting a well being and happiness survey as part of their community planning exercise and they invite all members to participate

 

OCN wants to know what you love about the community, what you feel needs to be improved, and how you feel about your life in the community.

 

Those that enter the survey can leave their contact information to be entered into a draw.

 

A link to the survey can be found in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Facebook group.

Province Increasing COVID 19 Testing Criteria and Capacity

The province is expanding the COVID 19 testing criteria while also ramping up its testing capacity a crucial step before beginning to loosen public health measures and restarting the economy.

 

The testing criteria is expanded to any Manitoban with COVID 19 symptoms even mild symptoms such as a fever or a cough.

 

Premier Brian Pallister says through good panning Manitoba has been able to get ahead of COVID 19 and flatten the curve. With increased levels of tracking, testing, and isolation we have a better understanding of how we are doing as a province.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau stated that while the pandemic curve in Canada has flattened we are not out of the woods yet and certain restrictions need to remain in place.

MANITOBA COVID-19 BULLETIN #65

Public health officials advise no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba remains at 272.

The data also shows:
•    seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes two individuals in intensive care;
•    57 active cases and 209 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 321 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 23,857.

Public health officials are expanding testing criteria to now include all symptomatic Manitobans. Testing has gradually been expanding, and with increased capacity the province is now ready to test anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19. However, Manitobans who are showing symptoms must still be referred for testing. For more information call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

Niki Ashton Letter Urging Government to Work with Fisheries

Niki Ashton sent a letter recently urging the Federal Government to work with fishers in our region and through Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to establish an emergency relief program.

 

According to Ashton’s letter she was contacted by fishers across our region that are concerned that they will not be able make ends meet during the COVID 19 crisis as the demand for their product has been impacted.

 

Ashton’s believes the Federal Government must do everything possible to ensure that fishers have access to an emergency relief program as fishers are essential for harvesting a source of food.

Hydro/Ashton Letter Response

Following MP Niki Ashton’s letter to Manitoba’s top doctor asking for construction at the Manitoba Hydro Keeyask site to be temporarily suspended, the crown company states they are following the public health orders that are in place.

 

A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro, Bruce Owen, says all the protocols they’re adhering to are based on guidance from provincial and federal public health officials.

 

Regarding the ten cooks coming in to the site, Hydro says they are the only new staff allowed into the site, and are replacing staff that have left the site, and that the employees were approved to return by the Northern Public Health Officer.

 

The company notes that the cooks are Manitoba residents, many are Keeyask Cree Nation members, and have previously worked at the site and are being recalled for a four-to-six week rotation to again minimize traffic in and out of camp.

 

Since Friday, Hydro says they’ve had nine people transferred off-site for assessment and testing, stating that screenings determined three individuals didn’t need testing, and the remaining six had their tests come back negative.

 

Businesses and organizations in Downtown The Pas Invited to Take Part in an Interactive Lab

Businesses and organizations located in the downtown area of The Pas are invited to participate in an interactive lab to talk about solutions for vagrancy challenges in the community.

 

This will give you an opportunity to hear how other businesses are addressing the problem and how you can create your own solutions.

 

The meeting will be on Zoom this Wednesday from 10 until 11:15 AM and you are asked to register by calling 204-624-5050.

 

Space is limited to 24 people

Province Announced Up to $120 Million for The Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Plan

The Manitoba Government has launched the Summer Student Recovery Plan a new wage subsidy program to support high school and post secondary students employed in the private and non profit sectors.

 

The program will support students and connect them to summer jobs and pay for their studies. $120 million dollars is available for employers to access a seven dollar per hour wage subsidy.

 

Manitoba will also be deferring payments on students loans intended to help post secondary students affected by the economic impact of COVID 19.

 

Opaskwayak Education Services acknowledged that these uncertain times can be difficult on staff and students and they encourage them to contact one of their Councillors should they need help.

 

The phone numbers of the Councillors can be found on the Opaskwayak Ininew Facebook Page.

April 25th COVID 19 Update

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 was identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 263.

 

The data also shows:

  • seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes three individuals in intensive care;
  • 61 active cases and 196 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
  • the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

Over the past four weeks, a number of non-urgent surgical and diagnostic procedures have been postponed for patients identified as being clinically able to wait without risk of negative outcomes. Postponements are part of the provincial effort to ensure flexibility and availability in the allocation of staff, beds, equipment and supplies required to respond to COVID-19.

 

Case-by-case clinical assessment has ensured urgent and emergent procedures (as well as those patients who may become urgent or emergent during the postponement timeframe) are completed. Patient safety and avoiding negative outcomes remain the priority.

 

Over the next week, a number of facilities across the province will begin to increase their surgical activity. This includes increased surgical activity at Health Sciences Centre, the Pan Am Clinic, Concordia Hospital, Misericordia Health Centre, Grace Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Boundary Trails Health Centre, Selkirk Regional Health Centre and Brandon General Hospital.

Tech MB CEO on COVID-19

The newly-assigned CEO of Tech Manitoba has announced that they are offering free training to parents who have been thrust into the role of teacher during the pandemic.

 

Kay Gardiner says the workshop is for parents who are new or want to better understand the Google education tech tools being used during the in-class learning suspensions.

 

The training is free, but Tech Manitoba asks that participants register in advance on their website at techmanitoba.ca/events

Provincial Receives Order of Protective Equipment and is Asking other Businesses for Assistance

The Manitoba Government is welcoming the arrival of a large order of protective equipment to help fight COVID 19.

 

The shipment arrived in Winnipeg on Tuesday containing 150,000 disposable isolation gowns provided by a Manitoba based medical supply company.

 

The Manitoba Government is calling on manufacturers and other organizations to assist with procurement efforts, those that can produce or develop products to fight COVID 19 or have a personal stock of unused personal protective equipment are asked to visit gov.mb.ca/covid19

Snowflake Place COVID-19

Manitoba’s child advocacy centre has put out a call-to-action to communities across the province to help protect children who are most vulnerable to child abuse or neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Christy Dzikowics [dih-koh-witz], the executive director of the Snowflake Place, says that the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are critical, but adds that those measure do have unintended consequences.

 

Dzikowics explains that child abuse reports have seen a significant drop in Manitoba since school closed over a month ago, as most reports of child abuse come from an adult who is not a parent to the child in question, such as teachers, coaches, or parents of their friends.

 

However, she notes that teachers have been vigilant in staying connected with their students during the pandemic.

 

For more information, you can visit snowflakeplace.ca

COVID-19 BULLETIN #60

Public health officials advise five new cases of COVID-19 were identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 262.

The data also shows:
•    seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes two individuals in intensive care;
•    82 active cases and 174 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

The province advises there was an error in the numbers reported yesterday. The actual total should have been reported as 21,061. As of yesterday, an additional 327 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 21,387.

Public health officials have expanded testing criteria. It is important for people who meet the criteria and are showing even mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, a runny nose, a sore throat and a fever, to be tested to better determine the spread of the virus in Manitoba.

Manitobans are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and meet testing criteria, they can call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for more information.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

The Pas Friendship Centre Food Bank

The Pas Friendship Centre is accepting applications for the community food bank for those that are in need during the COVID 19 Crisis.

Families not already supported by OCN or MFF as well as seniors, single mothers, and those with disabilities can apply.

You can request an application form by calling the centre at 204-627-7500.

You can also find a link to an application form on The Pas Community What’s Happening in the Tri Area Facebook page.

NDP Call for Return of House to Fight for Jobs

The official opposition remains committed to working with the province to support the fight against COVID 19 that is why Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew is urging the Pallister Government to immediately reconvene the house in order to fight for jobs and financial assistance.

 

Kinew stated that the official opposition’s job is to fight for Manitoban jobs and if front line workers can continue to show up to work MLA’s should do the same.

 

The opposition is prepared to work with the Provincial Government to safely reconvene the house using social distancing measures or virtual sessions.

Three Adults Charged in The Pas for Violating Emergency Orders

The RCMP has charged 3 adults here in The Pas for violating social distancing orders.

 

Those involved were at a house party this past Sunday and according to police they became hostile when approached and chose not to follow orders.

 

Two woman aged 25 and 43 and a 26 year old man were given a fine of $486 and were charged with failing to comply with the emergency order.

PROVINCE TO PROVIDE $120 MILLION OF SUPPORT TO SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES HARMED BY COVID-19

The Manitoba government is providing up to $120 million to support Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses that are facing significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy. They are struggling right now and we want to support them,” said Pallister. “Our government has been listening and working diligently with chambers of commerce across the province, business and retail councils, industry and trade associations and various stakeholders to identity where the greatest need is and to maximize the recovery opportunities for Manitoba’s business sector.”

The Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is available to any of the approximately 120,000 businesses in Manitoba who have fallen into a gap in failing to qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies created because of COVID-19. If one in six businesses have fallen into that gap that would mean approximately 20,000 Manitoba businesses would be entitled to this support, the premier noted.

The province will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000, for a total of up to $120 million. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31, 2020, if the recipient attests at that time the business has not received any major non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account, as well as sector-specific grant federal programs specifically developed in response to the pandemic. If the applicant has received benefits under a federal COVID program, then the loan will be added to the recipient’s 2020 tax bill.

“We are acting on the advice from industry and are committed to working in partnership with our municipal and federal governments and various associations that are impacted by this pandemic so we’ll make the right decisions, in the right way, at the right time to maximize our recovery efforts for the benefit of all Manitobans,” said Pallister.

To be eligible for the MGPP funding, a business must:
• have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba government declared a provincewide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act because of COVID-19;
• have temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order and have been harmed by the health order;
• be registered and in good standing with the Manitoba Business and Corporate Registry;
• have not qualified for federal government COVID-19 grant support; and
• have an email address and a bank account.

 

 

Manitoba COVID 19 Update April 22nd

Public health officials advise two new cases of COVID-19 were identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 257.

The data also shows:
•    seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes three individuals in intensive care;
•    97 active cases and 154 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

There were 440 laboratory tests performed on Tuesday. A total of 21,601 tests have been performed since early February.

Public health officials have expanded testing criteria. It is important for people who meet the criteria and are showing even mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, a runny nose, a sore throat and a fever, to be tested to better determine the spread of the virus in Manitoba.

Manitobans are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and meet testing criteria, they can call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for more information.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html. For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

Amanda Lathlin MLA Report

Our local MLA Amanda Lathlins MLA report from last week outlined what happend at the emergency session at the Manitoba Legislative on April 15th.

At the session a total of thirteen bills were read voted on and and received
royal assent and the new leglislation gave authority for the Manitoba Government to release up to a billion dollars to support the ongoing actions to fight the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Lathlin stated in her report that she is concerned that the current government
has not made commitments to support small businesses directly and that the
Government must do more then just connect businesses with federal funding.

Lathlin says real financial aid is needed for families workers and small
businesses so that communites and the province can survive this pandemic.

 

Lathlin says she would like to thank communites for coming together and
listening to precautionary advice from public health officals during this
pandemic.

She added that the number of COVID 19 cases in Manitoba may be low right now but in order to keep it that way we need to continue physical distancing. Not allowing travel to Northern Manitoba will also help to fight the pandemic.

The Pas Community Development Corporations Local Supporting Local Movement to Help Local Bussinesses

With local and small businesses having a difficult time during the COVID 19
epidemic, The Pas Community Development Corporation created what they call a local supporting local movement to support local businesses and to bring awarness to the community on how they can offer services using adapted business models.

The program works with the CDC purchasing products and services from regestered businesses and creates a givaway bundle for the community through their Facebook Page.

The CDC hopes that more local businesses will regester for their program.
You can find more information on their website thepascdc.com or on their Facebook page.

The Pas Kinettes Donate Gift Cards For School Hamper Programs

The Pas Kinettes continue to help the community in this time of crisis. They
recently donated $500 gift cards to Opasquia School and Kelsey Community School for their food hamper programs.

The assistant principal of Kelsey Community School spoke to Arctic Radio and
they supplied food hampers to 25 families last week and they plan to use this
donation to help 25 more families next month.

 

Opasquia School Teacher Lynda Geswin spoke to Arctic Radio and said that
donations of non perishable foods and gift cards are still be accepted for their
program.

They can be dropped off at the Opasquia School from 9 until 12 and from 1 until 4 PM on weekdays.

MP Niki Ashton Sends letter of Concern About Keeyask Construction Site

Our MP Niki Ashton recently sent a letter of concern to Manitobas Chief Medical Officer with concerns about the Keeyask construction site during the COVID 19 epidemic.

According to the letter Manitoba Hydro agreed to take drastic measures last
month to prohibit travel into the camp to keep people safe, but on April 19th
workers and partner first nations were informed that ten new cooks would be
coming to the keeyask camp creating concern from camp workers and First Nations that recognized hydros previous efforts.

Ashtons letter also stated that mental health is already an issue in the camp
and the entry of new staff is creating instability and that hydro has not yet proposed a plan for their workers to leave or return to the camp, and there is news of infections in camps and mines in Northern regions and our region can’t afford to risk having workers getting sick. This is why calls for temporary shutdowns should be respected.

Town of The Pas considering Lifting Plastic Shopping Bag Ban During COVID 19 Pandemic

The possibility of lifting the plastic bag by law in The Town of the Pas during
the COVID 19 epidemic was brought up at last weeks council meeting as there has been concerns about people using reusable shopping bags during this time.

According to an issue sheet some communities have lifted their plastic bag by
law to prevent workers at stores from touching the personal property of others and some local businesses have asked if the town of The Pas will be doing this as well.

The issue sheet also said they can do this through a resoultion and will be
brought up again at a later date.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Members Reminded of Community Curfew and penalties for Large Gatherings in their homes

Opaskwayak Cree Nation members are reminded that their community curfew from 10PM to 6AM will be exended until at least April 30th.

Members that must leave home for a medical reason, to go to work, or to hunt, trap, or fish are asked to call BJ Constant at 204-627-7127.

Those that violate the curfew could be issued a verbal or written warning or a
$100 fine.

Members are also reminded that eviction notices will be given to those that have large gatherings such as house parties at their homes and to people selling illicit drugs. Those that are caught having a gathering of more then 10 people on their properties will get their eviction notices once the crisis has ended.
 

CDC New Home Buyers Program

The Pas Community Renewal Corporation has an amazing opportunity for new home buyers by offering eligible candidates a down payment to get them into their first home.

To qualify for the program your household income must be less then seventy five thousand five hundred and ninety two dollars, applicants must be a household with dependents, and you must not currently own a home or have a vested interest in a residential property.

For more information you can contact Jackie Rechenmacher at 204-627-1118

It’s a unique time in our world and The Pas Community Development Corporation is dedicated to discovering new ways to support the community.

Technical Briefing of COVID 19 for Canadians

Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada released a technical briefing for Canadians about COVID 19.

 

The report said that prior to stronger measures each infected person infected 2.19 other people on average and stronger physical distancing and self isolation measures are helping to reduce the average number of people that each case infects.

 

Canada is at an early stage of the COVID 19 Pandemic then other countries and we have an opportunity to control the epidemic.

 

The best way to get out of the pandemic in the shortest time possible with fewer deaths is by continuing to self isolate, increase, testing, rapidly trace contacts, and physical distancing.

COVID-19 BULLETIN #46

Public health officials advise three additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 224.  

The data also shows:
•    11 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes five individuals in intensive care;
•    76 individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is three.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 551 tests Wednesday.  A total of 15,259 tests have been performed since early February.

Manitoba has chosen to close public facilities in provincial parks, effective immediately.  While the parks will remain open, public facilities including washrooms, playgrounds, and the use of picnic areas and group shelters will be closed to ensure social distancing practices are enforced.

Public health officials are expanding testing criteria to include first responders with respiratory symptoms.  This would include positions such as paramedics, police and firefighters.  Current testing parameters include people with symptoms who have travelled outside Manitoba in the last 14 days, close contacts of a confirmed case, health-care workers, all patients admitted to hospital with respiratory symptoms, lab workers who have worked with COVID-19 tests, and individuals who live/work in the north, a remote or isolated community, or congregate setting.

Manitobans should not interpret current case numbers to mean the risk is reduced.  The current statistics may be a reflection of the effect strict social distancing measures have had and reaffirms that these measures must be continued.  Manitobans are reminded this is not the time to let their guard down.  Actions taken today will affect case numbers in the weeks ahead.  All Manitobans must remain vigilant to flatten the curve of this virus.  This weekend is normally busy with gatherings for Easter or Passover celebrations.  However, families are reminded that gatherings with anyone from outside your household are strongly discouraged.

Health officials continue to remind Manitobans to seek medical attention when it is required.  For serious health issues call 911, go to an emergency department or an urgent care centre.  Hospitals are safe places and health-care providers will ensure every precaution is taken while providing care.

Several community testing sites have altered hours of operation for the upcoming long weekend.  Testing sites in Brandon, Dauphin, Pine Falls and Eriksdale will be closed on Good Friday.

Sites in Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas will be open daily through the weekend, with reduced hours of 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Testing sites in Selkirk, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Winkler will keep regular hours this weekend.

In Winnipeg, the Mount Carmel Clinic (886 Main St.) will be closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, while the three other Winnipeg locations will operate as regularly scheduled throughout the long weekend, as will the assessment clinic at St. James Centennial Pool.

For up-to-date information on community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Visiting cottages, whether in Manitoba or a neighbouring province. is not recommended at this time.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

NRHA COVID 19 Update

The CEO of our local health authority spoke to Arctic Radio News to give an update on the COVID-19 situation in our region.

 

Helga Bryant with the Northern Health Region says as of yesterday, there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region.

 

Bryant elaborates that all three patients are currently self-isolating and recovering at home.

 

When asked about the province’s decision to release information about where the cases are by regional health authority, Bryant echoed Manitoba’s Public Health Officer’s words, saying that people should be following the recommendations of heath officials regardless of which communities the cases are from.

 

She goes on to say that people should seek out accurate information from credible sources, such as the Government of Manitoba website or the Northern Health Region website.

Niki Ashton Calls for Benefits for People in Our North

Our MP Niki Ashton is still fighting for the people in our North during this difficult time.

 

She has called on the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development to ensure that people in Northern Manitoba have full access to Canada Emergency Response Benefits and Employment Insurance funds.

 

Ashton pointed out that our health systems are already under significant strain and we must take every precaution necessary to keep people and our communities safe.

Major Manitoba 150 Celebrations Being Paused for This year

Due to the significant public health concerns surrounding COVID 19 major Manitoba 150 celebrations are being paused for 2020. Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement yesterday.

 

He stated that as Manitobans we love our beautiful summers and we were looking forward to celebrating our provinces 150 anniversary but health and safety must come first adding that we look forward to the days when we can reunite with our friends and neighbours to keep celebrating our great province.

COVID-19 BULLETIN #45

Public health officials advise four additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 221.  

The data also shows:
•    12 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes six individuals in intensive care;
•    69 individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is three.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 477 tests Tuesday.  A total of 14,708 tests have been performed since early February.

Manitobans should not interpret current case numbers to mean the risk is reduced.  The current statistics may be a reflection of the effect strict social distancing measures have had and reaffirms that these measures must be continued.  Manitobans are reminded this is not the time to let their guard down.  Actions taken today will affect case numbers in the weeks ahead.  All Manitobans must remain vigilant to flatten the curve of this virus.  This weekend is normally busy with gatherings for Easter or Passover celebrations.  However, families are reminded that gatherings with anyone from outside your household are strongly discouraged.

Manitobans are reminded to continue seeking care for regular and chronic medical conditions.  Primary care and community health offices continue to be available for those patients in need of care, with virtual (phone and video) options available as well as in person appointments and walk-in services.

The first Community COVID-19 Testing Site and Assessment Clinic in Winnipeg opened today at the St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool and Fitness Centre, 644 Parkdale St.  With the opening of this site, Access Winnipeg West will once again focus on primary care and community health services and no longer be a designated community testing site for COVID 19.

Assessment clinics for COVID-19 positive patients offer primary care services on an appointment basis for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

In addition to the primary care space, these locations will also serve as designated testing sites in a separate area at the site to support additional capacity for testing.

Testing sites and assessment clinics will NOT be walk-in services.  People seeking testing should still call Health Links-Info Santé first or be referred by their primary care provider.

For up-to-date information on community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Enforces Community Wide Curfew

Opaskwayak Cree Nation members are reminded that there will be a community wide curfew effective immediately.

 

The daily curfew which runs from 10PM until 6AM will be in effect until April 20th though it could be extended depending on the spread of COVID 19.

 

These measures are being taken to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID 19.

 

OCN has volunteers and security keeping track of people and vehicles that leave their homes during curfew time.

 

OCN chief and council want to acknowledge that some may not agree with these measures but extreme measures must be taken during this world wide pandemic and they ask members to do their part in helping to protect the community.

Vale COVID-19 Challenge

Vale Manitoba Operations has launched a challenge to encourage innovative solutions for COVID-19’s impact on the marketplace.

 

The Vale COVID-19 challenge is open to companies, start-ups, institutions, universities, and professionals in Canada and Brazil.

 

The fund is one million dollars U-S, and each selected solution is worth up to two hundred thousand dollars.

 

The challenge is accepting submissions in three categories: Risk Monitoring and Prevention, Patient Monitoring, and Open Challenge.

 

For more information or to apply, visit vale.com/canadacovid19challenge by tomorrow, and selected ideas will be announced April 24th.

Update on MKO First Nations

Grand Chief of MKO, Garrison Settee, spoke with Arctic Radio News to share an update on steps they’re taking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

One important initiative undertaken was to set up checkstops at the entry points to first nations communities.

 

Settee encourages first nations members to remain in their communities to keep COVID-19 at bay.

 

Settee says another main challenge facing first nations during this pandemic is the lack of reliable phone and internet services.  

 

This impedes MKO’s efforts to reach their leadership and will also impact education for students on first nations. 

 

Rather than online or distance education options that urban centres have, first nations students will have to rely on educational packages dropped at their homes. 

COVID-19 BULLETIN #44

Public health officials advise 13 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 217.  In addition, a third death has been reported.  Patient specific details are not being released at this time.

The data also shows:
•    12 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes six individuals in intensive care;
•    21 individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is three.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 781 tests Monday.  A total of 14,280 tests have been performed since early February.

Manitobans are reminded to stay home if they can and this includes family gatherings.  While many families get together for Easter or Passover celebrations, people should not let their guard down by gathering this year.  Working together to maintain social distancing and staying at home unless you have to go out are the only ways to slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Manitobans are reminded to continue seeking care for regular and chronic medical conditions.  Primary care and community health offices continue to be available for those patients in need of care, with virtual (phone and video) options available as well as in-person appointments and walk-in services.

Assessment clinics for COVID-19 positive patients are also being established.  These sites will offer primary care services on an appointment basis for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

In addition to the primary care space, these locations will also serve as designated testing sites in a separate area at the site to support additional capacity for testing.

The first Community COVID-19 Testing Site and Assessment Clinic in Winnipeg will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 8 at the St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool and Fitness Centre at 644 Parkdale St.  When this site opens tomorrow, Access Winnipeg West will once again focus on primary care and community health services, and will no longer be a designated community testing site for COVID 19.

Testing sites and assessment clinics will NOT be walk-in services.  People seeking testing should still call Health Links–Info Santé first or be referred by their primary care provider.

Note the Mount Carmel testing site will be CLOSED for the statutory holidays on Good Friday and Easter Sunday this coming weekend.  Visit one of the drive-in sites or the St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool for testing over the weekend.

For up-to-date information on community screening sites, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

The Pas, RM Of Kelsey and Cormorant Monthly Mayor Reports For March

The monthly mayor reports for the month of March have been released. The Town of The Pas had mostly disturbances of the peace cases 148 all together.

 

The RM of Kelsey had mainly provincial traffic violations 24 in all and the community of Cormorant saw one break and enter one assault, and one provincial statute.

Niki Ashton Welcomes Announcement that Military is Ready to Help Fight COVID 19

Our MP Niki Ashton praised the announcement that the Federal Government would be sending the military to assist first nation’s communities during the COVID 19 epidemic saying she was glad that the Federal government heeded their call for military action and that they now need to ensure that this help reaches people in our north.

 

Ashton stated in a news release that the provincial government needs to support first nations in their calls for military aid and we must also ensure the federal government continues to act on their commitment to indigenous communities.

One New Case of COVID 19 in Manitoba

Public health officials advise one additional case of COVID-19 has been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 204.

The data also shows:
•    11 individuals are currently hospitalized including seven in intensive care,
•    17 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is two.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 458 tests Sunday.  As of April 6, a total of 13,476 tests have been performed.

Manitobans are reminded to stay home if they can and this includes family gatherings.  While many families get together for Easter or Passover celebrations, people should not let their guard down by gathering this year.  Working together to maintain social distancing and staying at home unless you have to go out are the only ways to slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Public health is also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Covid-19 Misinformation

Everyone is being encouraged to seek out and spread only accurate information during the COVID-19 pandemic.   That includes our MP, Niki Ashton.

 

CEO of the Northern Health Region, Helga Bryant, sent a letter to Ashton last week.  In it she noted that information Ashton has posted on social media has created worry, bordering on panic among northern residents.

 

In addition, healthcare staff is now experiencing threatening in-person and over-the-phone interactions with people demanding to be tested who do not meet the provincial screening criteria. 

 

Screening tools provided by the province will indicate if testing is required or not.    If not, the person is provided with information about the virus and how to self-monitor at home.  

 

If testing is indicated, a more detailed screening takes place.  That often, but not always, indicates testing.   

 

Bryant encourages all northerners to go to their website at northernhealthregion.com for the latest COVID-19 information.

The Pas Mayor Herb Jaques on COVID 19 Epidemic

The Pas Mayor Herb Jaques spoke to Arctic Radio recently to talk about the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

He wants to encourage people to wash hands, stay home as much as possible, and practice social distancing during this time.

 

The town is looking for an alternative way to have their councils meetings and they will keep the public informed once they have figured out how the meetings will be done. They will likely be held as a video conference.

 

You are encouraged to call the town of The Pas if you have any questions or concerns.

Annual Mayor Reports for The Pas, Cormorant, and the RM of Kelsey

The annual mayor reports for The Pas, Cormorant, and The RM of Kelsey have been released.

 

Most of the offences committed in The Pas in 2019 were disturbances of The Peace a total of 1816.

 

The RM of Kelsey had mostly provincial traffic violations 608 in total, and the community of Cormorant had mostly mischief cases this past year a total of 12.

Second Death Related to COVID-19 in Manitoba

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has released the latest COVID-19 numbers. 

 

He reports 15 new cases bringing the total to 182 adding they’re also announcing the second death related to COVID-19 bringing the total number of deaths to two.  He notes as of this morning 9 individuals are hospitalized, of that 6 are in intensive care and their reports indicate 11 individuals listed as recovered. 

 

As well yesterday 634 tests were preformed at Cadham Provincial Lab bringing the total number of completed test to 11,952.

             

There are still two confirmed cases in the north. With cases being found in Manitoba communities Roussin again asks all Manitobans to continue to take precautions in all their activities most importantly stay home.

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES OVER $100 MILLION IN SUPPORT AND RELIEF FOR MANITOBA'S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

The Manitoba government is announcing new measures in the Manitoba Protection Plan to provide extra support and relief to homeowners and businesses, and to enhance health preparedness for new medical equipment and shelter space in the fight against COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Our government’s number one priority during this global pandemic is keeping Manitobans safe and ensuring our health-care system is there for us and our loved ones,” said Pallister.  “We must protect our most valuable service – our health-care system – and protect our most vulnerable people, our senior citizens, our homeless, those faced with threats of violence and those who are facing new financial challenges.”

Faster Health Equipment Procurement

The government is investing more than $100 million to accelerate the pace at which Manitoba is procuring essential medical supplies and equipment, hotel capacity and other critical needs to help prepare for COVID-19.

“Manitobans have always risen to the challenge and what we’ve seen so far during this pandemic is no exception,” said Pallister.  “This $100-million investment will allow us to support made-in-Manitoba products and solutions from local businesses to quickly help in our collective efforts to fight COVID-19 and protect Manitobans in the weeks and months ahead.”

Manitoba manufacturers or businesses that are prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool manufacturing lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19 can go to the portal at www.manitoba.ca/covid19, and then visit the business and workplace page.
The province is also issuing a call to businesses who have a stock of personal protective equipment.  If the equipment is not being used due to closures and physical distancing, they can also reach out by visiting the portal at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
 
In addition, Manitoba businesses can donate unused personal protective equipment supplies in original packaging, clean and in useable condition.  For more info, visit:
https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations/.

Cash Flow Tax Relief

Today’s measures will provide immediate relief to Manitobans facing financial challenges by deferring provincial fees and charges, the premier noted.

As part of the Manitoba Protection Plan, the province is providing the following protections for the next six months until Oct. 1:
•    instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time;
•    instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections;
•    instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores;
•    supporting Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties for late payments;
•    directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times; and
•    working with municipal partners to ensure municipalities do not charge interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees and the province is encouraging municipalities to do the same with respect to their own taxes and will start discussions to support implementation.

The government is also deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to coincide with the current revised federal deferral of income tax to Aug. 31 and has indicated it would be willing to extend these deferrals until Oct. 1, should the federal government agree, the premier added.

The new measures are in addition to the recently announced two-month deferral for small businesses that remit up to $10,000 in Manitoba payroll tax or $10,000 in sales tax.  This will result in $80 million in deferred remittance to the province.

Pallister also announced plans to help make insurance more affordable for Manitobans.  While the province has no ability to allow for deferrals of payments or the waiver of interest charges and penalties, Manitoba is taking steps to make home and business property insurance more affordable to Manitobans by accelerating the removal of $75 million of annual PST from residential and business properties, effective July 1.  

This will save residential property owners an estimated $38 million per year and business property owners $37 million a year.

Expanded Shelter Capacity  

The Manitoba government will add more than 140 new shelter beds to support people affected by homelessness and allow for social distancing protocols as part of the province’s broader Manitoba Protection Plan response to COVID-19, the premier announced.

“While many of us have the capacity to shelter at home, the reality is some of us do not,” said Pallister.  “Through our Manitoba Protection Plan, our government will ensure people who don’t have a stable home have a place to stay safe and healthy as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic together.”

Up to $1.2 million will be invested at several locations in Winnipeg to:
•    repurpose a vacant Manitoba Housing building on Sargent Avenue to create 31 new beds;
•    add 35 beds provided by the Salvation Army at its Martha Street location;
•    expand Siloam Mission’s capacity by 50 beds; and
•    move individuals currently using the Salvation Army’s SonRise Village to alternate locations, making its 26 beds available for new clients.

The beds at the Sargent Avenue location will be managed by Main Street Project, which is partnering with other shelters to co-ordinate access among their clients.  This location will open today and others will become available as soon as possible.

The provincial building on Sargent Avenue may also be used as self-isolation units for homeless individuals who need it.

The premier noted the province is also looking into additional options to support homeless and vulnerable people outside of Winnipeg as part of the province’s Manitoba Protection Plan response to COVID-19.

“Our government remains committed to looking at every possible way to help all Manitobans through these uncertain times, by providing financial relief and support needed on the front line as we face this global pandemic together.”

The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages all Manitobans to engage in social distancing protocols.

For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19

Tech Manitoba is Offering Free Refurbished Computers to Families in Need

Tech Manitoba is offering free refurbished computers with digital training to families in need in our area.

 

The company states that during this COVID-19 outbreak, many families and individuals are disconnected from society entirely, and we rely on them to access timely information, work from home, and connect with family and friends.

 

Tech Manitoba adds that those who lack digital skills and computers are further isolated.

 

To help with this, the company has launched a pilot project to provide people in need with a computer and a digital skills course.

 

To nominate a person, family, or organization in need of a computer, fill out the form at techmanitoba.ca/digitall

 

To donate a computer, you can call 431-577-6644.

University College of The North Update on COVID 19 Epidemic

Doug Lauvstad the president of the University College of the North spoke to Arctic Radio about how they are dealing with the COVID 19 epidemic.

 

Access to the facilities has been restricted and they are using all available technology to provide material to their students using apps and social media.

 

Lauvstad added that the two operating principals are safety and helping students to complete their studies this term.

 

The campus book store will still be open for students to access learning materials but the campus is closed to the general public.

 

Lauvstad says the whole team at UCN has stepped up and worked together in response to this pandemic something he says is very gratifying to see.

Amanda Lathlin MLA Report: The need for More Reporting on COVID 19 in the North

Our local MLA Amanda Lathlin addressed the COVID 19 crisis in her latest MLA report.

 

The report stated that regional health authorities are not providing information about testing in Northern Manitoba which is why the NDP has made an appeal to the Minister of Health to provide more information regarding testing samples submitted and once we have that information we will feel better about our health and well being.

 

Her report also stated that we need to take the governments public health officials direction seriously as we are all susceptible to contracting the virus.

 

Lathlin believes that in following precautions in addition to staying home as much as possible and avoiding non essential travel we will be protecting ourselves and those around us.

Manitoba COVID 19 Update April 2nd

Public health officials advise 40 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 167 at this time.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized including four in intensive care,
•    11 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba remains at one.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 1,300 tests Wednesday.  As of April 2, a total of 11,327 tests have been performed.

Three additional staff across two Manitoba health-care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.  The confirmed cases, at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg and Betel Home Gimli are being investigated by public health, occupational health and infection prevention and control officials.  All affected health-care workers are being provided with appropriate direction related to self-isolation or self-monitoring, depending on their exposure.

As a result of the positive COVID-19 case at Betel Home in Gimli, public health officials are also investigating a respiratory illness outbreak among residents there.  Nine residents showing symptoms of respiratory illness are being tested for the cause of their illnesses.  This will include testing for COVID-19.  The home has implemented additional infection prevention and control measures to isolate affected patients.

A change in protocol will soon require health-care workers working in patient care roles at facilities, including at hospitals, long-term care facilities, health centres, nursing stations, Access Centres and COVID-19 testing locations, to expand their use of procedure masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).  These changes will be implemented over the coming days at sites across the province.  Manitoba’s provincial COVID-19 central supply chain management is working with regions and facilities to identify and ship appropriate PPE.

New screening procedures are being implemented for staff working in acute and long-term care facilities.  Implementation of these measures has begun and will involve asking staff about travel history, exposure to COVID-19 positive cases, any symptoms they may have and having their temperature taken at the start of their shift.  Staff who are required to come and go during the course of their shift may be re-screened upon re-entry into facilities and service areas.

Public health is also advising that people remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

As Manitoba’s health system continues with preparations to ensure it is prepared to meet the needs of patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health-care workers, donations of the following supplies are now welcome:
•    N95 respirators of various models and sizes, both hospital and industrial grade;
•    surgical/procedure masks;
•    gloves;
•    disposable gowns; and
•    disinfectants and cleaners.

Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in useable condition.  Expired supplies will not be accepted.
 
For more information on donating supplies, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations/  or call (toll-free) 1-833-408-0101.

In order to meet continued demands of Winnipeggers for COVID-19 screening, a second community testing drive-thru site will open tomorrow at the Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) Main Street service centre, 1284 Main St.  Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Other Winnipeg locations include:
•    Mount Carmel Clinic, 886 Main St.,
•    Access Winnipeg West, 280 Booth Dr., and
•    MPI’s Bison Drive Service Centre, 15 Barnes St.

The new Main Street location will allow testing sites at Access Transcona and Access Fort Garry to stop operating as testing sites tomorrow and return to their mandate of providing primary and episodic care to patients.  The public is reminded that a referral to these testing sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics.  Information on locations and hours of operation throughout Manitoba is available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Accident Involving Semi Truck South of The Pas

An accident involving a semi truck about 60 to 70 KM south of The Pas blocked Highway 10.

 

According to Manitoba 511 there is one way traffic in the area.

 

Travelling on the highways outside of The Pas is not recommended right now.

 

Visit manitoba511.ca for more information on road conditions.

Niki Ashton MP Report on COVID 19

Niki Ashton released her latest MP report on the COVID 19 pandemic, and the first two confirmed cases of the virus in Northern Manitoba.

 

Ashton’s report stated that due to limited testing in our region, we can’t be sure if there are other cases of the virus in the north.

 

The report also said that people trying to get testing in Flin Flon is of particular concern right now, as people that were told to get tested were then refused at the testing site.

 

Ashton claims a woman in Flin Flon who had first known case of the virus in the north had to wait six days to receive test results, even when she showed symptoms.

 

Public Health reports there is no longer a backlog at the testing lab and turnaround time is within 24 to 48 hours after the tests arrive at the lab.

 

She goes on to say that she believes that the lesson from throughout the world is that intensive targeted testing is critical to preventing the spread of the virus.

Manitoba Hydro Complying with the latest recommendations at the Keeyask Construction Sit

With the provincial health order now in effect until April 14th, Manitoba Hydro says they are following the measures set out by health officials as construction continues at the Keeyask Site amidst COVID-19.

 

A company spokesperson explained in an email that the company completed the reduction and rotation of staff a couple of weeks ago, with roughly seven hundred workers who volunteered to remain on-site.

 

The spokesperson adds there are guidelines for employees entering or leaving Keeyask, as workers who need to leave the site for any reason will have their situation reviewed on a case-by-case basis, while those arriving at the site without prior authorization will not be allowed to enter.

 

Material and supply deliveries will continue at the site to make sure Hydro employees can continue to work and have what they need, and the spokesperson says strict measures are being enforced to ensure minimal contact between drivers and on-site staff.

 

The company explains that since March 21st, all individuals referred off-site are being tested for COVID-19 prior to leaving Keeyask.

 

Hydro goes on to say that as of yesterday, there have been no confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19.

UCN Nursing Students COVID-19

14 students in UCN’s nursing programs are assisting health care staff at hospitals and testing sites as COVID-19 continues to spread.

 

The Dean of the Faculty of Health at the institution, Vicki Zeran, explains that the volunteers comprised of fourth-year Bachelor of Nursing program students, as well as some Diploma in Practical Nursing program students.

 

Zeran says that the students are helping screen people who are entering the hospitals and the testing sites, and that some of those hours will count towards their practicum.

 

She goes on to say that a majority of the students are feeling good and believe this is a good learning experience for them, and that pandemic response is a part of the program curriculum.

24 New COVID 19 Cases Reported in Manitoba

Public health officials advise 24 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 127 at this time.

The data also shows:
•    four individuals are currently hospitalized including three in intensive care;
•    four individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba remains at one.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 1,130 tests Tuesday.  As of April 1, a total of 10,044 tests have been performed.

New screening procedures are being implemented for staff working in acute and long-term care facilities.  Implementation of these measures will begin today and will involve all staff arriving for the start of their shift to have their temperature taken and be required to answer questions about any symptoms they have, their travel history and their exposure to positive COVID-19 cases.  Staff who are required to come and go during the course of their shift may be re-screened upon re-entry into facilities and service areas.

Under The Public Health Act, new public health orders announced earlier this week take effect today.  In addition, the chief provincial public health officer has clarified a public health order to ensure a better understanding for businesses classified as not providing critical services and how they are able to operate during the state of emergency.

All non-exempt businesses may:
•    continue to operate where customers can order goods online or by telephone; however, customers cannot attend the businesses’ premises or property to order goods;
•    continue to sell goods to customers where those goods can be picked up ‘curbside’ or delivered to customers; however, customers cannot pick up goods at businesses’ premises or on its property;
•    allow staff to attend the businesses’ premises, without a limitation on the number of staff, as long as staff take measures to keep social distancing of one to two metres apart from each other; and
•    accept delivery of goods and may allow services, such as construction, repairs, maintenance and cleaning to occur at their premises and on their property.

Additional details are available at https://engagemb.ca/.

Manitoba Justice continues to take steps to reduce the spread of infection and enhance access to justice throughout the province.  As of April 2, new admissions to all adult and youth correctional centres in Manitoba will be handled through the Winnipeg Remand Centre (WRC).  All individuals coming into custody will be isolated for up to 14 days to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 into facilities.  Sheriff services will be assisting rural police agencies with transports whenever possible.  All in-person visits for people in Manitoba’s adult and youth correctional centres have been suspended including inmate programs, staff training and other group activities.

The province is expanding the number of free phone calls for individuals in custody to help them maintain contact with their support systems.  Lawyers are encouraged to meet with clients remotely, whenever possible, but in-person visits with clients can continue at all facilities, with the exception of the WRC.  Cleaning procedures in all Manitoba’s correctional centres have increased significantly including the use of fogging equipment to disinfect large and high-traffic areas.  Protocols for the use of personal protective equipment are in place to ensure the safety of staff and inmates.

As of April 2, greater access to bail hearings on evenings and weekends will increase the efficiency of the system, ensure timely bail and other hearings and limit unnecessary admissions to the WRC.  Crown attorneys will work on evenings, overnight and on weekends for consultations and hearings and to work with defence counsel on sentencing recommendations.  The province is also working with police agencies to expand remote bail hearings in the north.  The number of court hearings that can be held by phone will also be increased to avoid unnecessary transportation of people out of their communities.

Public health is also advising that people remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only.  Services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

As Manitoba’s health system continues with preparations to ensure it is prepared to meet the needs of patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health-care workers, donations of the following supplies are now welcome:
•    N95 respirators of various models and sizes, both hospital and industrial grade;
•    surgical/procedure masks;
•    gloves;
•    disposable gowns; and
•    disinfectants and cleaners.

Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in useable condition.  Expired supplies are not able to be accepted.

For more information on donating supplies, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations/ or call (toll-free) 1-833-408-0101.

There are 16 community testing sites in Manitoba, including seven drive-thru locations, with plans to open in more communities in the coming days.  The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics.  Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

The Manitoba Government has Issued New COVID-19 Orders Affecting Business

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has advised all Manitoba non-essential businesses will close effective today.  He says restaurants can prepare and serve food for delivery and take out only. 

 

The restaurant operators must ensure that all persons maintain appropriate social distancing from one another when picking up. 

 

He notes grocery stores will remain open but they must also maintain appropriate social distancing between their customers.  Bars will be closed as will personal service businesses such as hair salons and massage therapy services.

 

Roussin adds this does not prevent businesses from operating on a remote basis.  The closures do not affect health care facilities, government services and other institutions.

 

More information on affected businesses can be found online at www.engagemanitoba.ca.

The Pas and District Chamber of Commerce Statement on Business Closures

In response to the public health order calling for the closure of non essential businesses in Manitoba, The Pas and District Chamber of Commerce would like to extend support for members and all businesses affected by the COVID 19 outbreak.

 

Chamber president Trent Allen says things are changing at an incredibly fast pace and commends whose that have found ways to operate as they look for new opportunities to keep their business viable.

 

The Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to continue to support local businesses during this time.

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