It’s excellent news if you own a business in Manitoba. 

On Sunday the Manitoba government announced they will extend the April and May filing deadlines for small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000. 

On top of that, businesses will have up to two additional months to remit retail sales taxes and the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy (commonly called the payroll tax).

Premier Brian Pallister says the extension could help more than 20,000 Manitoba businesses as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the extension gives small and medium businesses a two-month breather.

“This extension gives small and medium businesses a two-month breather to deal with COVID-19. This global pandemic is impacting all Manitobans and while we focus our resources and energy on the health of Manitobans, we must be mindful of the financial toll the pandemic is having on businesses and families.  Over 95 per cent of Manitoba business are small or medium sized, and they need government support through this difficult time.”

The minister noted the department will work with businesses regarding flexible repayment options above the $10,000 cap.

Further information regarding filing requirements will be available Monday on the Manitoba Tax Publications page on the Finance Taxation website at www.gov.mb.ca/finance/taxation/bulletins.html.

A third case of COVID-19 in Manitoba has been identified this weekend.

The newest case is a man from Winnipeg in his 40's, the other cases involve women also from Winnipeg; one in her 30’s, the other in her 50’s.

Travel appears to be the factor in all cases.

This brings Manitoba's total to 20.

You can find information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel by clicking here.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says Manitobans are reminded that public health orders remain in effect:

“At this time, the public health [social distancing] orders apply to public places, and not workplaces. However, employers are reminded to continue their efforts at social distancing strategies.”

Dr. Roussin says all Canadians returning from international trips are required to self isolate for 14 days upon return. This includes Canadians re-entering the country by road as well.

“Self-isolation means isolation at home. This does not mean going to the grocery store or doing shopping. You self-isolate at home, monitor for symptoms, and call Health Links if symptoms arise.”

Call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 before arriving at a testing site.

You should not seek out testing if you are not showing symptoms, however, you are advised to get tested if:

(1) you have respiratory symptoms,
(2) have travelled internationally in the last 14 days,
(3) or had contact with a confirmed case (ie. on a cruise ship, at a large conference).

Now that school is out, Dr. Roussin reminds Manitoba children and families to practice social distancing. 

“Do not arrange for in-person playdates with other families. Perhaps go for a walk outside with the family.”

To avoid contracting the virus, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and cancel travel plans. 

To protect the people around you, Manitoba public health recommends that you:

(1) cover your coughs and sneezes
(2) stay home when you are ill
(3) avoid large crowds
(4) disinfect regularly used surfaces 
(5) practice social distancing measures
(6) stay home if you can
(7) cancel large events
(8) use reliable sources of information

Lanette Siragusa says Health Links received 2,300 calls on Saturday. The average wait time was 47 minutes. The online assessment tool got 220,000 views since it launched on Wednesday.

Going forward, the province will be using the terminology of “probable cases” and “confirmed cases” to bring Manitoba in line with the terminology used by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The latest information from the Manitoba government can be found at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Manitoba health officials have identified another probable case of COVID-19 today.

Case 19 is a woman from Winnipeg in her 30’s.

It’s believed the case is related to travel.

You can find information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel by clicking here.

The province is also reminding parents to keep their child’s immunizations up to date, in order to limit outbreaks of other communicable diseases while we’re managing the spread the COVID-19. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/div/schedules.html.

If you're concerned about exposure to or risk of having COVID-19, call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 before arriving at a testing site.

The latest information from the Manitoba government can be found at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Another case of COVID-19 has been identified in Manitoba.

That brings the total number of lab-confirmed positive and presumptive positive cases in Manitoba up to 18.

Case 18 is a woman in her 50's who lives in Winnipeg. 

The case appears to be travel related.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 before arriving at a testing site.

An online assessment tool, and all other official COVID-19 information can be found here.

In an effort to protect the health and safety of members and customers, the Dauphin Co-op will be seeing some changes to their hours and services.

Delivery service is being offered for seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

The following changes will be made, effective immediately:

-Co-op Gas Bars will be open from 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

-Home and building centres will be closed to walk-ins. Orders are available by phone or email Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

-Food stores will operate Sundays from 10a.m. – 6p.m., Monday- Friday 10a.m. – 8p.m., and Saturday 10a.m. – 6p.m.

Grocery orders will be available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for orders received before noon the day prior.

They advise people who have recently travelled, and those experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms avoid entering stores.

Manitoba’s state of emergency could possibly extend the province-wide school suspension for the remainder of the year.

MVSD Superintendent Dan Ward says an extension hasn't been made yet, but it is a possibility.

“As a school division, we are wrapping our heads around the fact that this could very well be longer than April 9th. In the coming days we should know more from the department.”

 Details on how classes would continue in the event of an extension are still being discussed.

”There’s a particular emphasis on students in high school, earning credits, and those that are looking towards graduation.”

 Despite the suspension of classes, students are still being provided with work.

MVSD is holding a meeting on Tuesday 24th to discuss updated plans from the province.

With the province of Manitoba declaring a state of emergency, the City of Dauphin says measures taken earlier this week with respect to social distancing and facility closures still apply.

The following closures remain in effect.

  • City Hall (100 Main Street South) will be closed to the general public. Payments can be made via cheque or cash using the drop-box by the main/north entrance door, or through peoples’ financial institutions. Communication with staff can occur via email or phone. In-person communication for all other reasons is by appointment only, and only if that person is not at risk of having contracted or is exhibiting COVID-19.
  • The City Shop (22 Jackson Street) will be closed to the general public. The utility (water and sewer), as well as snow removal in case of a snowstorm and garbage removal, will operate as usual. The Waste Disposal Site will operate as usual.
  • The Fire Hall (121 2nd Street NW) will be closed to the public. Fire services will operate as usual. 

 The City will review and update their plan as new information becomes available.

Dauphin Home Hardware continues to work towards providing a safe shopping environment for its customers during the growing concern of COVID-19. In an effort to do so, Mark and Whitney Odut who own the store have put some precautions in place, effective immediately.

  • They are asking people to not browse, instead to collect the items you need, pay, and vacate the store.
  • Don't shop in groups or families, they're asking for just one family member to be in the store at any time.
  • Continue to keep a distance from fellow shoppers and employees.

Home Hardware is also offering no contact free delivery within the City of Dauphin. That means you can call the store with your shopping list and they will get all of the items together and deliver it right to your door. You can either pay over the phone for this option or leave a cheque in your mailbox. You can call the store at 638-8442.

"Our goal is to provide the best customer service possible while keeping everyone safe, both our valued employees and customers," said Whitney Odut.

Employees can also shop for you and have your items ready for you at checkout which will allow you to get in and out quickly.

The store hours this weekend will be from 9-6 today and tomorrow and 12-5 on Sunday. Beginning on March 29, the store will close on Sundays for the next few Sundays. Starting on March 30, normal hours of operation will be from 9-6 Monday-Saturday.

"The closure on Sundays beginning on March 29 will likely last about three weeks and then we'll re-evaluate from there," she concluded. 

Following yesterday’s release of the provincial budget, Official Opposition leader Wab Kinew says he’s concerned with two things in particular. 

“This budget is going to put our healthcare system on life-support during a pandemic. At a time when many Manitobans are worried about their financial security, the province is also cutting a lot of the programs that help our families keep their heads above water. Those are the two areas that I’m most concerned about.”

“When I’m looking at the response for COVID-19, it’s just not enough. There’s not enough here for nursing and ICU beds and all the things we know that we’ll need.”

When it comes to Dauphin in particular, Kinew took note of the $6.8 million dollars cut from the corrections budget. 

“So now, you see why they’ve closed the Dauphin Jail. This is just about saving money. When people from Dauphin look at this budget, it’s your community that’s paying.”

Kinew said he wishes the government’s budget would have covered fees for parents that have to pull their kids out of daycare.

“I’d also look for a top-up to people’s wages. Let’s say you have to go on EI, you’re going to lose a big chunk of your wages. I think now is an appropriate time for the government to step in and help make up some of that difference.”

“I think we all have to stick together as Manitobans with this COVID-19 pandemic. I thank everyone working at the hospital in Dauphin and the clinic to keep everyone healthy and safe. I think we need to call on the government to do more. To fund healthcare and provide financial security. We really do need to have each others back right now.”

Speaking on Manitoba’s state of emergency, Kinew sees it as an important step and hopes everyone respects the directions of the public health experts. 

With growing cancellations and restrictions from the coronavirus, CKDM wanted to know how the Dauphin Correctional Center closure was being affected.

Co-founder of the Dauphin Correctional Coalition Group, Larry Budzinski says that with increasing COVID-19 concerns, moving inmates to other facilities is a risky decision.

“Right now, our biggest concern is that with COVID, if you’re going to move the prisoners into other already overcrowded jails, you’re really creating a dangerous situation. So we’ve asked the minister to respond to that.”

The coalition is avoiding any public gatherings and has been holding their meetings online.

Budzinski confirms the group has not stopped their efforts to reverse the closure.

“We’ve had some time to research ideas; we have some press releases we’re working on.”

He added that the timeline of the closure is unclear, and no announcements to delay the closure have been made.

Earlier this week, Canada's big six banks said they're ready to help customers affected by COVID-19 which included a deferral of loan payments on a case-by-case basis.

Following that lead, Manitoba's Credit Unions have now followed suit, one of which is Fusion Credit Union in Dauphin.

"Manitoba's Credit Unions are really stepping up, we have always stood behind our members," said Ron Hedley, CEO of Fusion Credit Union. "We're going to do whatever we can to support our members, whether it's commercial, consumer, or agriculture."

Manitoba Credit Unions will look to provide its members with deferral payments of principal and interest on their mortgages for up to six months, on a case-by-case basis. 

If you're in need of financial help during the growing concern of COVID-19 pandemic, Ron urges you to get in touch with your Credit Union for more information to see what options may be available to you.

"Credit Unions have a long history of helping its members," concluded Hedley. "Especially in a time of need. We'll be there and you can guarantee that."