COVID-19 Weekly Update May 15
Get regular updates by subscribing to Manitoba Building Trade emails.
Public health officials advise no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified. In addition, one case that had been considered probable has been ruled as negative, so the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is 289.
- Additional temporary orders. The Manitoba government is introducing additional temporary orders to extend deadlines, social service, and child-care provisions, and reduce municipal government regulatory burdens to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. To review the new orders, visit manitoba.ca/covid19/soe.html
- Public Health Order enforcement. Manitoba government stepped up public health order enforcement. About 3,000 inspectors and police officers are now able to enforce orders.
- Manitoba Hydro layoffs.About 600 to 700 employees will be temporarily laid off for the next four months, Manitoba Hydro confirmed Monday.
- Additional frontline worker compensation. Front-line workers in the battle against COVID-19 will get additional compensation. The province has partnered with the federal government to provide a one-time “risk payment” to those on the front line. It will come from an estimated $120 million being made available for the payments — three-quarters provided by the federal government and one-quarter from the province.
- Economic Opportunities Advisory Board. On Wednesday, Premier Brian Pallister announced that the provincial government has created the Premier’s Economic Opportunities Advisory Board, which is designed to chart Manitoba’s reopening process. The 18-member advisory board will help find opportunities for economic recovery and growth.
- COVID-19 testing. Manitobans no longer need a referral from Health Links or a health-care provider to get tested for COVID-19as of Thursday. People with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, nausea or loss of appetite should use the online assessment tool to determine if they need testing.
- Green Team funding.The province announced $10 million in spending for “Green Team” projects and jobs on Tuesday. The funding will help support about 2,000 jobs this summer.
- Brandon cluster cases.Two new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend increased the total number infected at a Brandon trucking company to 10, the province’s chief public health officer reported on Monday. The new cases are both close contacts of known cases at Paul’s Hauling, where an outbreak began last week.
- Protests. A crowd descended on the Manitoba Legislature Building Saturday afternoon, demanding an end to the COVID-19 quarantine.
- Manitoba schools. Manitoba’s elementary and high schools still might not be back to regular in-person classes come September, the president of the Manitoba School Boards Association said this week.
As May long weekend approaches, the province is reminding people heading out of town to practice physical distancing, limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people, bring everything they need from home, and to stay home if they’re feeling sick.
The province says to keep these things in mind:
- Buy provincial park entry passes online before leaving home.
- Print campground reservation confirmations and go directly to the reserved site.
- Practise physical distancing.
- No gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Bring your own hygiene items like soap and toilet paper.
- Take out trash when leaving.
- No travel from southern Manitoba to north of the 53rd parallel, even for camping.
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:
Canada had 73,335 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 35,949 of those considered recovered or resolved.
- Support for large employers.The federal government says it is rolling out a new aid program called the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility to allow big companies to access additional liquidity to keep their operations going, retain workers on payroll, and avoid bankruptcy.
- Fish harvesters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $470-million investment on Thursday for fish harvesters. He said fish harvesters who expect a 25-per-cent drop in income will get support to cover 75 per cent of losses up to $10,000.
- Seniors. The Canadian government has announced additional aid in the form of a one-time payment of up to $500 for eligible seniors to offset any increased living expenses they have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. the new financial support will cost $2.5 billion and is in addition to previously announced relief measures for seniors
- Saskatchewan relief effort. Ottawa will contribute $2.3-million to the response effort in northern Saskatchewan, site of the largest outbreak in the province. The virus was brought in by workers returning from a northern Alberta oil sands camp.
- Antibodies test. A test that can detect whether a person was exposed to COVID-19 and whether or not they still have virus-fighting antibodies in their system has been approved by Health Canada after a “priority scientific review.”
- Quebec schools open. Quebec elementary schools and daycares outside Montrealreopened Monday for the first time since March.
- Long-term care home employment.The federal government is looking at creating a “shortened version” of a training program that would allow unemployed Canadians to provide assistance in long-term care homes doing “less complicated tasks.”
- West-jet cancellations.Citing record-low passenger numbers, WestJet says it is extending many flight cancellations into July. Any customers with travel booked from June 5 to July 4 will be notified of their options.
- Elective surgeries backlog.Several Canadian provinces have slowly restarted elective surgeries after thousands were postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials estimate it could take years to clear the backlog.
- Alberta reopening.Alberta took a step forward on Thursday as a range of businesses — including stores, daycares and hair salons — are being allowed to open across most of the province.
- National Parks. Some of Canada’s national parks and historic sites will reopen for partial use on June 1 but only in places where it is considered safe to do so.
- Saskatchewan schools. Saskatchewan schools are closed for the rest of the education year, and no decision has yet been made on whether students will return to in-person learning in the fall.
- Ontario reopening plan. Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday how the province will start to reopen its economy and phase out some emergency restrictions that were imposed to combat COVID-19.
- Manufacturing sales drop. Canadian manufacturing sales fell 9.2 per cent in March, the biggest drop since December 2008
For the latest info on the state of COVID-19 in Canada, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Important Provincial Links