Prairie Mountain Health is giving us an update on Dauphin’s COVID-19 community testing site.

The drive-thru testing site that was supposed to open Saturday at the Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) service centre here in Dauphin, is now being relocated.

PMH says the testing site will be at a different location but has not said exactly where that would be.

Once a site is confirmed, that information will be released by PMH.

As a reminder, any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Even though Dauphin Recreation Services’ usual Spring Break program has been put on hold, they’re suggesting some fun activities the whole family can do from home.

There’s a different activity each day next week, with a chance for you to be entered in a daily draw.

All you have to do is share a photo or video of your family doing the daily activity, and tag Dauphin Recreation Services on social media.

Next week’s schedule:

Monday, March 30th - Made It Monday
Post a photo of something that you and your family created. It can be artwork, Lego creations, something you baked, etc.

Tuesday, March 31st - Time to Read Tuesday
Post a photo of what you and your family are reading. Share your book suggestions!

Wednesday, April 1st -  Work Out Wednesday
Post a photo of your family exercising together!

Thursday, April 2nd - Theatre Thursday
Post a photo of your family watching a movie and share what movie you watched.

Friday, April 3rd - Fresh Air Friday
Post a photo of your family enjoying the outdoors!

When submitting your photo or video, don’t forget to share on the Dauphin Recreation Services social media page and tag them in your post

The draw winners will be announced at 10 am the day after the activity.

The Manitoba government will be establishing five highway checkpoints to provide information to travellers during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

No one will be denied entry into Manitoba, but travellers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel within Canada or internationally.

This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
•    normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.

Where checkpoints will be located:
•    Ontario border:
     -  Trans-Canada Highway East (West Hawk Lake/Falcon Lake);
•    Saskatchewan border:
     - Trans-Canada Highway West (west of Kirkella/Elkhorn/Virden);
     - PTH 16 (west of Russell);
     - PTH 5W (west of Roblin); and
     - PTH 2 (west of Sinclair/Reston/Souris).

Checkpoints are expected to begin operation this week.

On Thursday around 6:40 p.m., Lundar RCMP responded to a report of a stabbing at a residence located on the Lake Manitoba First Nation.

Upon their arrival, officers located an unresponsive 35-year-old female who was pronounced deceased on scene.

As a result, a 20-year-old male has been arrested and he's currently in police custody and the investigation continues.

As of 9:30 this morning, public health officials in Manitoba advise three additional probable cases of COVID-19 have been identified.

This brings the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases to 39.

Manitoba has also recorded its first patient death -- a woman in her 60s who was in intensive care.

As of 12:01 a.m. Monday, public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. 

It doesn’t apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters. 

Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.

606 tests were performed yesterday, and as of yesterday, 6,203 tests have been performed in Manitoba.

Premier Brian Pallister announced this morning that the government is investing in the mental health of Manitobans with a program to address anxiety caused by the coronavirus.

The province is partnering with Morneau Shepell, Canada’s leading provider of technology-enabled HR services, to launch an internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program, free of charge, to all Manitobans over the age of 16.

The province will spend $4.5 million to provide these services to Manitobans for up to a year.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen made the announcement alongside Pallister.

There is the impact of COVID-19 as well that we do not see and it is equally as real, and equally as important. It is happening in the way we are thinking, the way we are feeling, the way we are behaving, and this needs to be adressed as well."

Morneau Shepell launched this digital therapy program last week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new program is guided by professional therapists and addresses anxiety symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics: uncertainty, physical isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management.

The Keystone Agricultural Producers has released a sanitation checklist for farmers.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, KAP says we all must implement safety and sanitation protocols in our daily lives, and our farms need protocols as well.

As preparations are made for the spring planting season, it’s imperative that producers and staff practice appropriate sanitation.

KAP says for on-farm, the best practices include prohibiting all nonessential visitors to your farm, to continue to follow all existing biosecurity and food safety standards that you have in place on your farm.

If you have hired workers, make them aware of expectations for them to stay home from work if they are feeling ill or believe they may have been exposed to COVID 19 and to practice self-isolation.

Share new information about the COVID-19 situation with workers each morning, or at the start of each shift, and ensure that they are following best practices.

The sanitation best practices they suggest include cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms daily, putting hand sanitizer and paper towels in all vehicles and equipment, where possible limit the number of operators for individual vehicles and equipment, establish protocols to sanitize equipment (e.g., wipe door handles, steering wheels, gear shifters, controls, monitors, etc.), and ensure that everyone sanitizes equipment when getting into and out of vehicles and equipment.

In addition, print a handwashing poster and display it in washrooms and workshop to act as a reminder for everyone to practice frequent handwashing,  implement a protocol on your farm outlining how often handwashing (for at least 20 seconds) must take place and ensure everyone follows it, ensure that you and your workers distance themselves by six feet where possible (understanding that this may not always be possible depending upon the tasks taking place), and when travelling off-farm, remain in the cab if possible and do not allow other people to enter the vehicle.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made his daily announcement, which focuses on helping businesses.

Last week, Trudeau announced the government will be giving small and medium businesses that qualify, a 10 percent wage subsidy.

Since some businesses have still had to lay off workers, Trudeau is upping that to 75 percent, in hopes that businesses thinking about laying off workers, won’t, and those that have made layoffs, rehire their employees.

Trudeau has also announced the creation of the Canada Emergency Business Account. Eligible businesses can receive a guaranteed 40 thousand dollars, interest-free for the first year. Some qualifying businesses can even have up to 10 thousand dollars forgiven.

GST and HST payments are also being deferred to June to allow businesses to keep and use the money that they would have ended up sending the government. Trudeau says that is the equivalent of the government giving 30 billion dollars.

During this economically-uncertain time, there’s been plenty of talk about financial assistance for Canadians.

But what about financial assistance specifically for the agriculture industry?

CKDM spoke with Maryam Monsef, the Federal Minister of Rural Economic Development, to find out more about what’s being done at the federal level to support farmers and agriculture producers.

“There’s a recognition that we need to still be able to get goods to and from our biggest trade partner; the United States. So we’ve ensured in the health and safety measures we’ve taken around COVID, that the Canada-US border still allows the trucks to pass through and continue their work.”

The Minister explains there's also a special travel exemption that will allow temporary foreign workers to enter Canada.

“We were able to ensure that temporary foreign workers are able to continue to work on these farms and provide their important services.”

On Monday, the prime minister announced significant investments in Farm Credit Canada. That means an additional $5 billion in lending capacity will be available to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.

Trudeau also announced eligible farmers with an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan.

The City of Dauphin is extending the deadline for its tree giveaway. 

A total of 190 trees will be given away to local residents and businesses to plant in their yards all around the city.

The initiative is in celebration of Manitoba 150, and aims to help increase the urban foresty here in the Garden Capital of Manitoba.

The following trees will be available:

  • Silver Maple
  • Paper Birch
  • Delta Hackberry
  • Trembling Aspen
  • Ming Amur Cherry
  • Russian Mountain Ash
  • American Linden
  • Dropmore Linden
  • Glenleven Linden
  • Discover Elm
  • Triumph hybrid Elm

Applications are open until April 15th, and you can visit the City of Dauphin website for more information.

Today the provincial government announced it will invest nearly $8 million to enhance spring flood preparations and protection.

Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires says the money will help more than 80 Manitoba municipalities take important steps to enhance flood protection.

“Municipalities know best what will work for them, and this program is designed to help ensure protection put in place this year will benefit communities for many years to come.”

Based on applications, the breakdown for funding by district is:

•    Parkland District –  $759,262.68 for 11 municipalities;
•    Central District – $1,271,662.07 for 14 municipalities;
•    Eastern District – $776,451.01 for 10 municipalities;
•    Interlake District – $1,059.167.70 for 10 municipalities;
•    Midwestern District – $715,082.41 for nine municipalities;
•    Northern District – $76,899.00 for two municipalities;
•    Western District – $1,139,583.73 for 15 municipalities; and
•    Winnipeg Metropolitan Region – $2,041,770.52 for 13 municipalities.

The funding covers items such as generators, pumps, steaming equipment to unclog frozen culverts, utility trailers, equipment for emergency operations centres, sandbags and other small equipment that will assist municipalities in protecting vital infrastructure and reducing flood damage.

We’re also learning of a new opportunity for municipalities to set aside funding for disaster mitigation programs in their communities.

A full breakdown of today’s announcement can be found here.

A full list of the 2020 Flood Protection Program projects is located here.