Covid-19 Briefing
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A roundup of COVID-19 developments for Thursday, June 30, 2022

This month marks a first for Manitoba since COVID-19 became part of our lives.

From his initial livestreamed briefing on Jan. 28, 2020 when the deadly virus was still far from the borders of our province, Dr. Brent Roussin always seemed to be on the ward, so to speak. 

In those early and eerie days of the pandemic, the chief provincial public health officer was front and centre daily, a pace that suggested he was not only a physician, but also a marathon runner. Over time, Roussin would come to share the spotlight with his deputy, Dr. Jazz Atwal, who would take his turn at the microphone. And while the frequency of those provincial briefings ebbed and flowed, not a month went by without the public hearing directly from one of the two public health officers. 

Until now. Let the record show that June 2022 was the month where anyone in the waiting room for the next provincial briefing featuring either doctor was left waiting and wanting. For those of you scoring at home, mark May 20, 2022 as the last sighting of Roussin in that provincial briefing room where he always delivered the good, the bad and the ugly about this public health crisis with the same steady demeanor.

COVID doesn’t pay attention to the comings and goings of chief public health officers anymore than it respects borders or partisan leanings. So at one level, you can rightly ask what difference does it make if Manitobans haven’t heard anything this month from Roussin or Atwal?

Except for the fact that in the six weeks since either made any public rounds as part of their public health officer role, 130 more Manitobans have died from COVID. Except for the fact their federal counterparts today appeared in public to warn circulating Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are even more transmissible, making a rise in cases likely in the coming weeks. Except for the fact Manitobans might like to know what’s happening with efforts to get more of us vaccinated and boosted. Except for the fact some freedom convoy trucker types have set up on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building to spread a few more conspiracy theories about COVID.

I get that much of the province has moved on and that the summer ahead of us will be more like the ones we remember from the Before Times. Even so, it would have been nice to know there was still a doctor in the house. 

Paul Samyn, Editor

MANITOBA INFO

The Manitoba government is no longer providing daily data on the state of COVID-19 in Manitoba.  Figures are now provided in a weekly report.

For the latest public health guidance, visit the provincial government’s website

The province’s website also offers information on testing availability and eligibility and vaccine availability and eligibility, and tips on COVID-19 prevention and risk assessment.

 

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LOCAL NEWS


Class action

Not long after the final school bell of the day rang, Quinton Bresler once again found himself in a classroom. The elementary schooler and his peers, of varying grades and skill levels, all have one t... Read More

 

Health system employees sue province over COVID-19 workplace mandates

Requiring Manitoba health-care workers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative test results violated their rights and amounted to “assault and battery,” according to a... Read More

 

No plans for dedicated long COVID clinic: Shared Health

As research continues into the widespread implications of long COVID, there are no current plans to establish a dedicated clinic in Manitoba. Long-haulers in Manitoba should continue to consult their... Read More

 

Rebranded ‘freedom convoy’ allowed to occupy legislature property

The provincial government and Winnipeg police say they’ve got a security plan to prevent a repeat of last year’s Canada Day protests in which the massive Queen Victoria statue in front of... Read More

 

Legislature security concerns in spotlight

New security fencing has been erected along the west side of the Manitoba Legislative Building ahead of Canada Day weekend. Manitoba Justice also confirmed, among its security plans, the front drivewa... Read More

 

‘Domino effect’: lost, delayed luggage pileups reach Winnipeg hub

Manitoba’s largest airport has not avoided the lost and unclaimed luggage peril sweeping the nation. At least 120 bags waited to be reunited with their owners Thursday morning at Winnipeg Richar... Read More

 

Game over at River City Sports

After 31 years, a pandemic and two iterations of the Winnipeg Jets, River City Sports is shutting down. Letters spelling “closing sale” plaster the St. James Street shop’s exterior. Read More

 

Towne Cinema 8 to go dark in ‘temporary closure’

Downtown Winnipeg movie theatre Towne Cinema 8 will close next week for an indefinite intermission. Patrons and employees were informed Thursday the long-running theatre would go dark July 7 — t... Read More

 

NATIONAL NEWS


Omicron cousin BA.5 predicted to cause nearly 70% of COVID-19 cases by Canada Day

Researchers examining the threat of emerging COVID-19 strains predict Omicron BA.5 will account for nearly 70 per cent of cases by Canada Day. Modelling expert Sarah Otto of the Coronavirus Variants R... Read More

 

Canadians urged to catch up on vaccinations, prepare for fall boosters

Federal health officials are bracing Canadians for another round of COVID-19 vaccines expected to roll out in the fall, and are urging those behind on their boosters to catch up now. Canada’s ch... Read More

 

NACI recommends fall COVID-19 booster shot in advance of possible future wave

OTTAWA – The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending booster shots this fall in advance of a possible future wave of COVID-19 in Canada. In a release Wednesday, NACI says jur... Read More

Canada extends COVID-19 border measures until Sept. 30, including ArriveCan app

OTTAWA – The federal government will extend current COVID-19 public health measures for travellers entering Canada, including the use of the ArriveCan app, until at least Sept. 30. In a release... Read More

 

Compensation questions loom for Air Canada customers with cancelled flights

MONTREAL – Consumer rights advocates are demanding Air Canada provide compensation to many of the hundreds of thousands of passengers whose summer flights it cancelled — but whether the airline... Read More

 

WestJet ‘proactively’ removed flights from Pearson, anticipating summer travel snarls

CALGARY – As the Canadian travel industry continues to struggle with an unprecedented rebound in demand, WestJet Airlines Ltd. is flying 32 per cent fewer flights in and out of Toronto Pearson I... Read More

 

Police make arrests after anti-vaccine mandate soldier leads march into Ottawa

OTTAWA – Police arrested four people in downtown Ottawa Thursday after a Canadian soldier charged for speaking out against COVID-19 vaccine requirements led a procession into the city and delive... Read More

 

Calgary Stampede receives $10M from federal government to aid recovery from pandemic

CALGARY – The Calgary Stampede has received more than $10 million from the federal government to help it bounce back after last year’s event was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A... Read More

 

Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations rising as new variants gaining ground

MONTREAL – Quebec is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations driven by new Omicron subvariants that account for about 75 per cent of infections, the province’s public hea... Read More

 

Union says Quebec prof’s suspension for anti-vax comments violates academic freedom

MONTREAL – The recent suspension of a Quebec professor of microbiology and immunology for comments critical of COVID-19 vaccines have raised concerns about the limits to academic freedom in the... Read More

INTERNATIONAL NEWS


Tweaked COVID boosters in US must target newer omicron types

U.S. regulators told COVID-19 vaccine makers Thursday that any booster shots tweaked for the fall will have to add protection against the newest omicron relatives. The Food and Drug Administration sai... Read More

 

US buys 105 million COVID vaccine doses for fall campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials said Wednesday they have agreed to purchase another 105 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of a fall booster campaign. The $3.2 bi... Read More

High court rejects COVID-19 shot mandate case from New York

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court declined on Thursday to take up a case involving a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious r... Read More

 

Elmo, 3, joins youngest Americans in getting vaccinated

V is for vaccine. Elmo got a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, according to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” In a public service announcement posted to You... Read More

 

A viral reprise: When COVID-19 strikes again and again

For New York musician Erica Mancini, COVID-19 made repeat performances. March 2020. Last December. And again this May. “I’m bummed to know that I might forever just get infected,” sa... Read More

 

COVID restrictions ease in Shanghai as case numbers drop

BEIJING (AP) — Shanghai is moving to allow in-person dining and reopening its Disney Resort theme park as domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 in China’s largest city remain at zero following a... Read More

 

South Korea approves first homemade COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Health officials in South Korea on Wednesday approved the country’s first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older, adding another public he... Read More

COVID-19 at Wimbledon: 3 top-20 men out after positive tests

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic famously decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — which prevented him from playing at the Australian Open in January follow... Read More

 

COVID-19 BASICS


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