A total of 3 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba on Friday.

One new case was disclosed in the 1 p.m. update, and 2 more cases were announced later in the afternoon.

Manitoba currently has 11 active cases.

There have been 311 confirmed and probable cases since early March.

No one is in the hospital because of the virus, and the number of deaths province-wide remains unchanged at 7.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.

The Manitoba government is doubling access to opioid overdose kits.

Up to $200,000 is being invested into take-home naloxone kits for those at risk of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening slowed breathing from an opioid overdose.

Health and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen made the announcement today, saying“ the COVID-19 pandemic has added extra stress to the daily life of all Manitobans and it is magnified in the lives of those at risk of an opioid overdose.”

The investment is part of the response to support people who are homeless, accessing shelters and using substances.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 104 take-home naloxone registered sites across the province including in all five health regions and in 27 First Nations.

The COVID situation has put a strain on the amount of blood being donated.

Jennifer Dareichuk, Associate Director of Donor Relations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the Canadian Blood Services says over the past few months they’ve had to make a number of adjustments to their operations.

“We’ve definitely seen our capacity or the number of donations that we can collect at each one of our donor centres has shrunk through some of the things we’ve had to implement with the pandemic. With physical distancing, it means that we can’t process quite as many donors as we normally would before the pandemic, so that has meant in some cases we’ve had more donors that have wanted to come out than what we’ve been able to accommodate on a particular date.”

If residents in the Parkland would like to donate blood, Dareichuk says the options are Brandon or Winnipeg. The Canadian Blood Services have continued to run mobile events in Brandon at a smaller capacity. She says moving forward, demand has been returning to normal.

“Really, we’re looking to expand the hours and the bed sizes at our mobile events and that is happening in Brandon. So, in the month of July, we’ve added some hours to the donor centres that we’re having in our schedule there and we’re looking at opportunities to continue that moving forward in the future.”

Dareichuk stresses that when booking an appointment, even if there’s an appointment tomorrow, the one a month from now is still needed.

If anyone is interested in going to a donor centre, she says the best thing to do is to go to www.blood.ca.

“So, we have our full schedule there for any location in Manitoba and all across the country. So, they can go, check out the location, the hours, and book their appointment in an upcoming event either a couple weeks away or a few months away. We welcome them to come whenever it works for them and thank them for that intention.”

Dareichuk says they don’t come to the Dauphin area with their mobile events, the closest one is Brandon. She adds that they don’t add too many communities to their list and moving forward they’ll be going to the communities they already travel to.

If you can’t make it to a mobile event out of the community, there are other ways to help the Canadian Blood Services. Dareichuk suggests joining the stem cell registry, making a financial donation, or express your intent to be an organ or tissue donor.

As the province continues to relax restrictions on public gathering sizes, churches in the Parkland are planning out how they can safely resume service.

Community Minister Wayne Olsen says the congregation at the Church of Christ Dauphin have been meeting the last two Sundays, and says “it’s been good getting back together and doing things together.”

With a maximum seating capacity of about 50 people, the Church of Christ Dauphin could get back to regular service very soon — but Olsen says there are much larger churches in our area that will face greater difficulty getting back to normal.

“We want to do what is right and keep people safe in the process. Some churches are quite a bit bigger than others, so they have a tougher time meeting those regulations compared to us smaller churches.”

New Provincial Guidelines
Beginning Sunday, Phase Three will allow gatherings of 50 people indoors, and up to 100 outdoors — as long as there are two metres of separation, except for brief exchanges.

Even larger gatherings are allowed at 30% of a site’s usual capacity, as long as people can be physically divided into sub-groups of 50 or less.

Silver Lining
The closure of churches during the COVID situation has had some unexpected consequences.

Olsen explains that congregation members have been able to catch up and connect more than ever with the use of Zoom, and other online video software.

“It’s created a healthier environment in getting to know people better. Those have been some good things that have come out of meeting on Zoom, or Facebook Live.”

Going forward, Olsen believes some churches may continue incorporating online video technology as a way to supplement regular worship.

The Ecoil Recycling Centre’s Father’s Day event is being postponed because of COVID-19.

The Eco Father’s Day event encourages people to clean out their garage and drop off used oil products such as oil filters, oil containers, or used oil to the recycling centre.

The event was set to happen this Saturday; however, it has been pushed back. We can expect an announcement near the end of July about when the event will take place.

The Recycling Centre will be closed this weekend and is not accepting oil drop-offs.

Going forward, all oil products will be accepted by appointment only.

To book an appointment, you can call Todd at 638-8226.

Two new cases of COVID-19 have been identified by public health officials on Thursday.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases in Manitoba is 308.

There are 8 active cases, and 293 people have recovered from the virus.

There are no Manitobans in hospital because of COVID-19.

The number of cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region is unchanged at 26.

Phase Three of reopening begins on Sunday, June 21st. For more information on the changes coming in the next phase of relaxing restrictions, click here.

The province is launching a new hiring program to help get Manitobans back to work this summer.

Employers can receive funding for up to 5 employees that are hired or rehired after June 18, as part of the ‘Manitoba Back To Work This Summer’ initiative.

Businesses will be reimbursed 50 percent of total wages paid from June 18 until August 30, to a total of $5,000 per worker and $25,000 per business.

Premier Brian Pallister says “the Manitoba Back to Work This Summer initiative provides financial flexibility to help businesses through this difficult time and address short-term challenges, while they build toward full capacity and long-term success.”

To learn more about this program, click here.

The application form will be available next week with a deadline of August 30.

The federal government announced they will begin testing a new app that will notify you if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave details this morning, saying “other users who have the app and have been in proximity to you will be alerted that they’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The notification will encourage them to reach out to their local public health authorities.”

The app is completely voluntary, and Trudeau is encouraging people from all over the country to download it, saying the app is most effective when as many people as possible have it.

The prime minister said the app will be tested in Ontario first and will be introduced to other provinces in the coming weeks.

Last night a STARS Air Ambulance was dispatched to the Minnedosa area.

Around 7:45 there was a single-vehicle rollover at the junction of Highway 16 and Highway 10.

STARS and EMS rendezvoused at the Minnedosa Hospital before transporting an 8-year-old girl to the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg.

She was in serious but stable condition at the time of the transport.

Patients were also transported by ground to Brandon.

If you’re looking forward to enjoying some popcorn and seeing a movie on the big screen, you’ll still have to wait a bit longer.

While the idea of opening movie theatres was included in Manitoba's draft plan for Phase Three, Public Health officials have decided to hold off.

General Manager of the Countryfest Community Cinema Ron Suchoplas explains that while they can’t reopen the theatres at this time, they are continuing to sell concession snacks through curbside pick-up.

“We started opening up Friday and Saturday nights. We tried a couple of Sundays but they are pretty slow.”

Right now cinema staff are working to develop safety measures, installing plexiglass shields, and buying masks.

Ron says he’s looking forward to fully opening once it’s safe to do so.

For more information, or to order, you can go to the cinema website.

Riding Mountain National Park will be partially reopening camping services on Monday, June 22.

Reservations for select areas of Wasagaming campground will reopen late June to early July. Other areas of the campground are already completely booked to near capacity until early September.

Camp Kippichewin will open for reserved camping (3 sites only) on June 22.

All oTENTiks, and other roofed accommodations remain closed until July 15, while Parks Canada assesses how these services might resume. Also, all large events are still suspended until further notice.

Reservations from international visitors -- including those from the U.S. -- are still cancelled until at least August 7th.

All national parks in Canada were closed at the end of March to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Recreational boating and watercraft activities have been allowed on park waters since June 12. Before watercrafts are permitted in park waters for fishing or other leisure activity, visitors must undergo a mandatory watercraft inspection.

For more information, visit the National Park website.