COVID-19 Weekly Update April 17
April 17, 2020
Subscribe to Manitoba Building Trades emails for the latest COVID-19 updates
As of April 17, public health officials advise no new cases COVID-19 were identified, meaning the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba remain at 250. Eight people were in hospital, with four in an intensive care unit. There were 113 active cases, and 132 people have recovered. Five people have died.
- The chief provincial public health officer has updated public health orders that take effect today, April 17, and will be in effect until May 1, 2020. They mandate that anyone entering Manitoba, regardless of whether it was from another country or another province must self-isolate for 14 days. Travel to northern Manitoba (north of the 53rd parallel of latitude) is prohibited with some exceptions.
- The new orders build on the current orders and maintain the gathering size of no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor premises. Additional updates include:
• a clarification that businesses not listed as critical may operate, and have customers attend to pick up ordered items, providing social distancing measures are in place;
• a provision to allow farmers markets to operate, providing social distancing measures are in place;
• hotels may operate, but must close common areas such as pools, hot tubs and game rooms;
• campgrounds can provide accommodation to recreational vehicles that act as a primary residence;
• garden centres and greenhouses can operate, providing social distancing measures are in place; and
• appliance, electronic and furniture stores are excluded, and should not be open to the public, except where orders are placed remotely and orders are delivered or picked up with social distancing measures in place.
- The Province of Manitoba is increasing its COVID-19 procurement fund by $300 million from the previously announced $100 million.
- The Manitoba government is making additions and amendments to strengthen The Emergency Measures Actand enable provincial orders that will aid in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Province of Manitoba announced it will be allocating up to $1 billion in additional COVID-19 pandemic-related spending, with half going to health-care costs.
- The Manitoba government announced on Tuesday it will be compensating healthcare workerswho have to self-isolate for 14 days due to potential exposure to COVID-19.
- The Manitoba government will also be meeting with Manitoba’s public sector union leaders to discuss an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is seeking ways to defer non-essential spending across all of government to ensure its ability to redirect resources to front-line health services during this critical time.
- A digital cognitive behavioural therapy program to support the mental health of Manitobans and help address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is now up and running. The program can be accessed atmanitoba.ca/covid19
- Manitoba announced Thursday it is expanding its COVID-19 test criteriato include symptomatic workers in essential services, while the premier acknowledged that increased testing will play a key role in re-opening the provincial economy.
- The province has partnered with the Pembina Trails School Division and the St. James-Assiniboia School Division to offer expanded access to InformNet online courses during the suspension of in-school classes due to COVID-19.
- The Manitoba government has engaged Manitoba-based business, 24-7 Intouch, to help businesses, not-for-profits and charities facing economic challenges due to COVID-19 connect with support programs.
- The government is looking to the local business community to produce a new Manitoba-designed mask to enhance the supply of the personal protective equipment for front-line health-care workers. The competition rules and specifications have been made available on manitoba.ca/covid19supplies.
- In Winnipeg, ER wait times are down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a CBC analysis has found. Paul Doucet, an ER doctor at St. Boniface Hospital, said he thinks some people are avoiding the hospital because of concern over potential exposure to COVID-19.
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 here.
The number of COVID-19 total cases in Canada was 30,670 as of April 17th, 2020. The number of deaths is at 1,250.
- Trudeau announced an expansion of the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit this week to include more contract or gig economy Now, many part-time and seasonal workers who are earning up to $1,000 a month, and people running out of employment insurance, can receive aid for up to four months.
- The Canadian government announced an expansion to a loan program aimed at helping small businesses weather the pandemic. The Canadian Emergency Business Account will now include businesses that last year had payrolls between $20,000 and $1.5 million. The previous eligibility was for payrolls between $50,000 and $1 million. Businesses can borrow up to $40,000 with no interest until Dec. 31, 2022. If paid off before then, one-quarter of the loan amount is forgiven.
- Small businesses will now have help covering rent for the months of April, May and June through a new federal programthat will provide loans to commercial property owners who will then lower or forgo rent for small businesses.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced economic measures specifically geared towards Newfoundland and Labrador and the country’s western provinces, including a $1.7 billion funding promise to clean up orphaned oil wellslargely found in Alberta.
- Statistics Canada’s new flash estimate of the monthly GDP for March, which showed a 9 per cent drop in March, the largest one-month declinein GDP on record.
- The government has received 5.4 million applications for its emergency benefit program.
- On Wednesday deaths attributed to COVID-19 surpassed 1,000.
- Health officials in Canada said Thursday that more than 90 per cent of COVID-19-related deaths have been people over 60— but they also highlighted the needs of another vulnerable group, saying the homeless and people with unstable housing situations are at increased risk.
- Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the current closure of the border to all non-essential travel for at least another monthas the fight against COVID-19 continues in both countries.
- Parks Canada says there will be no camping or group activities at any of its national parks until “at least” June to “help keep people safe.
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