This morning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the country with the latest update from the federal government.

He announced that as of Wednesday, Parks Canada is suspending visitor services at all national parks and historical sites. However it appears parks will still remain open, but that "anything with a door" will be closed to the public.

Trudeau also revealed details about a Global Affairs emergency loan program of $5,000, in order to get Canadians back home, or to accommodate their financial needs as they wait for their opportunity to return to Canada.

Trudeau also commended the province of Ontario for its move to declare a state of emergency, saying Ontario is taking the right steps to protect its people.

We are also expecting a major announcement tomorrow on economic assistance for those affected by this nation-wide issue.

By the end of the week, we're also expecting accommodations to the upcoming tax season to assist Canadians through this time.

The Prime Minister also discussed a brief return of the house of commons so that emergency economic measures could be passed through the house to provide support for Canadians.

We will bring you those details as they become available.

Face to face classes at all Assiniboine Community College campuses will finish on or before Friday this week.

The majority of programs will be moved to alternative formats and the students will hear directly from their program officials for the next steps in their coursework, as well as practicum placements and co-ops.

Impacted students in a few of the programs will have access to specialized labs if it’s essential to complete the program. The labs will be opened with a specific schedule and operate under safe work practice guidelines and social distancing methods.

The only program to be cancelled is the Industrial Metals Fabrication (Welding) course. Students have the option to defer to the next intake or receive a refund.

Until Friday, campuses will maintain regular hours for staff and students.

The public is encouraged to continue avoiding the campuses and contact the college by phone or email if necessary.

Pharmacist Barret Procyshyn and the entire team at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy have been working extra hard over the past few days.

CKDM spoke with Barret, who wanted to share some advice with Parkland residents who want ensure they have a good supply of their medications.

“It’s been busy, it’s been a little bit stressful. Our phone has been ringing off the hook. There’s just so much information coming out. Everything is changing so rapidly. Our team is really working hard, everyone is putting in 120% to make sure everyone gets the medication they need.”

Barret says there are several things you can do to help everyone in this community get the medication they need.

“There’s two things going on right now. There’s the COVID-19 scare, and then it’s also the end of the Manitoba Pharmacare Program.”

“I can’t stress how important it is to not stockpile your medication. You have to ask yourself if you really need 4 or 5 months worth of medication, or does the person who needs medication tomorrow need it more. I think we’d all agree that the person who needs medications tomorrow, should take priority right now.”

He says the most important thing right now is to order ahead to give the pharmacy time to get the order ready.

“Health Canada and the Canadian Pharmacy Association have come up with some emergency preparedness guidelines. They’re recommending having 2 weeks of medication on hand. So if you’re getting low phone-in and order. We’re also recommending that you use our delivery service & drive-thru window.”

It is very important to remember, all COVID-19 inquiries should first go through Health Links. 

If you experience cold- or flu-like symptoms, call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 before you visit an urgent care centre. Health Links will advise you on what to do & where to go.

As part of Pharmacist Awareness Month, Barret Procyshyn will be on the air with Al Gaines every Thursday morning to bring you the most up to date information.

More information about ordering from the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy can be found here

As of right now, there are about 30 facilities on First Nation land that allow smoking inside their VLT lounges.

Brian Pallister is hoping that's not the case in the future. Pallister says "smoking is bad for you" and that you shouldn't be able to do it in lounges.

Pallister has issued mandate letters to each of his cabinet ministers and one of the main points is issued at Crown Services Minister, Jeff Wharton, who is responsible for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. Pallister wants Wharton to prohibit smoking in all gaming facilities across the province.

Darnell Duff chatted with Grand Chief Eugene Eastman to get his thoughts on the matter.

"Pallister is going way beyond his reach," said Eastman. "I think his reach has to be minimized or be removed, it's really as simple as that."

Premier Pallister has also said he wants this process to be through consultation rather than legislation.

"This is too much already, he's affecting so many people," concluded Eastman. "People are going to smoke whether they like it or not."

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries was not available for comment on the matter.

Dauphin city officials met on Monday to discuss the latest information available around the COVID-19 issue.

City Manager Sharla Griffiths says they worked to identify essential- and non-essential services to ensure the safety of their staff and the public.

City officials also collected more information during a teleconference with Health Minister Cameron Friesen, alongside some other rural municipalities across Manitoba.

Going forward, the following measures will be in place, effective immediately.

  • 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 are 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 staff directory can be found here.

At this time, the City Manager has not been made aware of any plans to bring COVID-19 testing centres to Dauphin.

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

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For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Manitoba government COVID-19 fact sheet at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/
.

You can access information from the Federal Government here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel- coronavirus-infection.html

Before visiting an urgent care centre because of cold- or flu-like symptoms, you must first contact Health Links-Info Santé at 1-204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257, who will advise you what to do.

Today the Manitoba government reported 1 additional presumptive case of COVID-19 in the province.

The man is from Winnipeg, and in his 80's.

As it stands, a total of 8 cases have been reported in Manitoba, all of which appear to be travel related.

For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information from the Manitoba government, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/.

Going forward, officials are strongly advising all Manitobans to cancel or postpone any non-essential international travel.

Public health officials are also advising all international travellers to self-isolate and self-monitor symptoms for 14 days after returning to Canada. If returned travellers begin to show cold- of flu-like symptoms, they should call Health Links for guidance on what to do next.

It is very important to remember, if you experience cold- or flu-like symptoms, you must call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 before you visit an urgent care centre. Health Links will advise you on what to do & where to go.

We're also learning there have been reports of multiple phone-call scams related to COVID-19.  Many are asking people for credit card information to provide medication following positive test results. 

This is not a call that Manitobans would receive from public health officials.  You are advised to avoid providing any financial data over the phone, and to hang up and report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Chief nursing officer for Shared Health, Lanette Siragusa, says work has begun on an online assessment tool to help ease the high volume of people visiting Manitoba’s designated testing sites.

Siragusa says there will be additional testing sites coming to rural Manitoba, to be announced early this week.

The province will be suspending classes in Manitoba (kindergarten to Grade 12) effective March 23 to April 10.  Dr. Brent Roussin says the move is out of an abundance of caution, to help us get ahead of the virus before it can spread in our community.

For a full list of preventative measures, and all other official information from the Manitoba government, click here. www.manitoba.ca/covid19/.

Manitoba Teachers’ Society president James Bedford is calling on the province to close schools no later than this Wednesday.

Manitoba’s Minister of Education made the announcement last week that all K-12 schools in the province will be suspended next Monday until April 13th.

However, the head of the Manitoba Teachers' Society which represents 16,000 public school teachers, wants schools closed as soon as possible.

In a letter addressed to Manitoba’s Education Minister, Bedford raised his concerns about the week-long wait.

As it stands right now, all Manitoba schools will be suspended effective March 23rd.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin is assuring the schools are safe, and that the move to suspend classes is being made out of an abundance of caution to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Manitoba Public Insurance is cancelling all vision and knowledge tests, starting today. 

MPI says this is in response to Manitoba’s social distancing guidelines.

The Corporation has also announced the following:

·       Enhanced ID interviews will be cancelled until further notice.
·       Out of health concerns, MPI front-counter staff will not serve people who have returned from international travel and have not self-isolated for the recommended 14 days.

Customers with scheduled appointments are being contacted by staff to notify them of the cancellation.

Once tests resume, you can re-schedule appointments over the phone, online, or in-person

This follows last week's announcement that all scheduled road tests have been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

You can also check out MPI’s website for several online services, including making payments for most driver’s licence charges, policy fees, registrations, premiums and overdue amounts.

The Dauphin RCMP Detachment have made several arrests related to recent snowmobile thefts in the area.

On March 11th, officers conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck with a snowmobile in the back.

Officers determined the snowmobile had been stolen and arrested the 17-year-old male driver from the RM of Dauphin.

As a result, a search warrant was executed on Friday, March 13th at a home in the RM of Grandview which led to the recovery of 11 stolen snowmobiles, two stolen ATV’s, unsafely stored firearms and a small quantity of methamphetamine.

Recovered Property 2

21-year-old Jordy Clyde Robertson was arrested at the scene, and faces 11 counts of Possession of Stolen Property, Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime, Unsafe Storage of Firearms and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Since then, a 22-year-old man from Roblin has also been arrested in connection with this incident and was later released from custody and placed on court-imposed conditions with a scheduled court appearance set for May 26th in Dauphin.

The investigation is ongoing, and Dauphin RCMP say more arrests are pending.

Today, MVSD Superintendent Dan Ward provided some additional information to parents and community members.

The full news release can be found here.

The suspension of all K-12 classes in Manitoba effective March 23 will proceed as planned under the recommendation of the Chief Public Health Officer of Manitoba, Dr. Brent Roussin. 

In an effort to prevent, manage and isolate the spread of the virus and limit exposure, the school division will be implementing several measures as of today.

-cancelling all field trips
-cancelling all international student tours
-cancelling all non-essential meetings, gatherings, assemblies and presentations, and other large group events
-cancelling staff attendance at professional development sessions
-cancelling extra-curricular activities
-suspending the community use of schools or divisional space -suspending student work placements/internships

To see today's full update from the Superintendent, and all other MVSD updates, you can visit www.mvsd.ca

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has addressed the country about the novel coronavirus.

He has announced that Canada has banned entry to most non-residents and non-Canadians except for the US.

Canadians can also get financial assistance to come home.

Going forward, only 4 airports in Canada will remain open to international flights (Vancouver International, Calgary International, Toronto Pearson, and the Montreal Trudeau airport), and he adds that the limiting of international flights doesn't apply to commerce and trade.

Trudeau emphasized a need for Canadians abroad to return home, and for Canadians that are home to stay home.

Air carriers are mandated to screen passengers before coming to Canada to ensure those with coronavirus symptoms aren't travelling to Canada

Trudeau thanks the provinces for taking aggressive precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, and says it's time to step it up even more.