COVID-19 Weekly Update April 24
April 24, 2020
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Public health officials advise five new cases of COVID-19 were identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 262. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.
- Manitoba is extending the current state of emergency for another 30 days until May 18.
- Premier Brian Pallister announced today that businesses who hire a summer student will be eligible for a $7/hour wage subsidy. Under the new program, up to $120 million is available for employers to access a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student.
- The Manitoba government is giving $120 million to help small and medium-sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) will be available for businesses who don’t qualify for federal government programs and wage subsidies. The province said it will give eligible businesses the non-interest, forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000.
- Manitoba Public Insurance announced they will return up to $110 million to ratepayers. The Crown corporation can do so because it’s received fewer claims during the COVID-19 pandemic and had stronger than anticipated year-end numbers.
- The Workers Compensation Board is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief for eligible businesses. In May, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of 2019 premiums.
- Manitoba is looking to provide daily meals for 15,000 students to replace programs that can no longer operate. A request for proposals says they are looking for a contractor to provide meal packages across the province for students, beginning May 11.
- Winnipeg Transit will temporarily lay off 253 bus drivers and drastically cut service following a deep decline in ridership.
- Four Manitoba health-care workers have contracted the novel coronavirus and more than 700 have been tested for COVID-19 in the past seven days.
- Manitoba’s chief public health officer said the province’s economic reopening could closely mirror Saskatchewan’s plan announced the same day, with some health services available May 4, golf courses on May 15 and hair salons allowed to reopen May 19.
- Testing is focused on symptomatic people from the following categories:
travellers returning to Manitoba;
• close contact with a confirmed case;
• lab workers who have worked with COVID-19 tests;
• health-care workers;
• people who live/work in the north, isolated or group settings, correctional facilities, shelters, long-term care or residential facilities or remote work camps;
• first responders;
• workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services;
• any symptomatic person who lives with a health-care worker, first responder or worker in a congregate setting such as a correctional facility, shelter, long-term care or residential facility.
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:
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
The number of COVID-19 total cases in Canada was 42,110 as of April 23rd, 2020. The number of deaths in Canada is 2,146.
- The new Canada Emergency Student Benefit will pay $1,250 monthly to Canadian and permanent resident post-secondary students and graduates to make up for lost work and cut hours. This benefit is to be available from May to August 2020. Students who volunteer on COVID-19 response efforts will be rewarded through bursaries of up to $5,000 towards their educations in the fall. Existing support for First Nation, Inuit and Métis post-secondary students will be expanded by $72.5 million.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is setting up a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund to help charities and non-profits keep up their work assisting Canada’s most vulnerable through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Companies who have been eyeing the 75 per cent wage subsidy for employees will be able to get an estimate of how much money they’ll be able to claim once the application portal opens next Monday.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more than $1 billion for medical research and testing to battle the virus. The federal government also created a task force Thursday to oversee blood-test surveys to see how widely the virus has spread in Canada and provide reliable estimates of immunity and vulnerabilities among Canadians
- WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it will lay off 3,000 people and cancel more than 4,000 domestic flights weekly in May as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hammer the airline industry.
- Both Quebec and Ontario called on the federal government to send in the troops, with Premier Francois Legault asking for 1,000 military personnel. Premier Doug Ford similarly asked for military help in five priority homes as they have been ravaged by COVID-19.
- The federal government, announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.
- The Calgary Stampede’s board of directors has cancelled the world-famous exhibition and rodeo this year because of COVID-19. It’s the first time the annual celebration of cowboy life hasn’t been held in almost 100 years.
- Two Alberta meat plants, that make up 70% of Canada’s beef processing capabilities, shut down and reduced operations due to hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases.
For the latest info on the state of COVID-19 in Canada, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Important Provincial Links
COVID-19 Manitoba Screening Tool