Covid-19 Briefing
Winnipeg Free Press Logo

A roundup of COVID-19 developments this weekend

There’s a bottle of chardonnay in our fridge ready for the Sunday dinner I am making for my family.

Like everyone, everywhere, we are homebound so I’ve got nothing better to do than put some comfort on the menu. In our case, it’s going to be some crispy chicken in mustard sauce from the Barefoot Contessa.

But as part of that menu, an essential ingredient was some white wine to deglaze the pan. That meant I had to make my way to what Manitoba has declared an essential service, where the staff at our neighbourhood Liquor Mart stand on duty behind plexiglass shields.

Even if you haven’t already checked out Ina Garten’s recipe, you have probably guessed I won’t need the entire bottle to deglaze the pan. Fair point.

But at times like these, it doesn’t hurt to have some wine on hand to toast our health — and yours.

-Paul Samyn, Winnipeg Free Press editor

THE LATEST NUMBERS

COVID-19 CASES IN MANITOBA

 

COVID-19 CASES IN CANADA

 

CANADA COVID CASES OVER TIME

Note: Manitoba and Canada figures may not match due to differences in data sources.

THE LATEST IN MANITOBA

Twelve additional cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba Saturday, and nine more Sunday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 203.

Eleven individuals are currently hospitalized, including seven in intensive care.  Two Manitobans have died, and seventeen have recovered. As of April 5, a total of 12,998 tests have been performed.

Health officials said Sunday that the presumptive positive COVID-19 test of a health-care worker at the Betel Home in Gimli was a false positive. Nine residents of the home who were tested have also shown negative results. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents home care workers in Winnipeg and southern and northern Manitoba, says the province issued a directive that home care workers use personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves as of April 4, but due to a shortage, some won’t have access to it until the week of April 13.

Make Poverty History Manitoba says the provincial government should increase welfare rates by $300 a month — something B.C. promised it would do. In Manitoba, single adults receive roughly $800 per month. While the province hasn’t promised to boost the monthly welfare rate, it has implemented a rent freeze and announced $100 million for homeless shelters and to make sure Manitobans who can’t pay their hydro, gas or car insurance bills on time aren’t penalized for the next six months. 

THE LATEST ELSEWHERE

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced details for a cash payment for Canadians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accepted starting Monday, offering Canadians who have lost their jobs because of the crisis $2,000 a month. Trudeau says it will take three to five days for the money to arrive by direct deposit or 10 days by mail.

Canada’s public health chief says hospitals should not throw away used masks and other protective equipment because experts are looking to see if they can be disinfected and reused. Dr. Theresa Tam says protecting health care workers is one of her top priorities in the COVID-19 pandemic. She says there are companies in Canada with the capacity to decontaminate used masks and other equipment if the science can be proven.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is extending the closure of non-essential businesses in the province to May 4. Legault says COVID-19 is still on an upward slope in Quebec and it would be unrealistic to keep to the original April 13 end date. The premier announced there were 19 new deaths in Quebec, for a total of 94, and 947 new cases for a total of 7,944.

Police in Sherbrooke, Que., say a Walmart security guard is fighting for his life after being struck and dragged by a driver who was allegedly enraged by the store’s social distancing policies. They say the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Saturday when the suspect tried to enter the Walmart with his partner but was told only one person per vehicle was allowed inside.

The Bank of Canada will release its business outlook survey on Monday as well as its survey of consumer expectations. The central bank has cut its key interest rate target three times in recent weeks to 0.25 per cent in an effort to help boost the economy as it deals with the fallout of COVID-19. On Thursday, Statistics Canada will release its labour force survey for March. The report is expected to show a massive plunge in the number of jobs as non-essential businesses shut down.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez penned an editorial published in several European newspapers to press for his proposed “new Marshall Plan” for Europe to act together in sharing the burden of the coronavirus crisis. Sanchez wrote Sunday that European Union members must do all they can to help their hardest=hit partners recover from the financial and economic impacts of the pandemic. If not, he said “we will fail as a union.” Spain, Italy and France have had over 34,000 combined deaths from the virus, and other countries want the EU to issue joint European debt to spread the costs. Germany and the Netherlands have rejected the proposal.

ODDITY

Hawaiians have been forced to scrap traditional customs that require closeness as they deal with the pandemic. The traditional native Hawaiian greeting requires foreheads to touch. A person must breathe in the other person’s “ha’, or breath. The honi custom calls for people to share their spirits, face to face, eye to eye. The two-metre rule used to curb the transmission of the coronavirus is the antithesis of tradition in Hawaii, where cultural norms revolve around intimacy — greetings with hugs, kisses and lei. 

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.” 

-U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, bracing Americans for the week ahead

Advertisement

 

 

LOCAL NEWS


Rights and wrong in a crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has put civil liberties and human rights on a collision course with increasingly harsh restrictions seen around the world, to keep as many people safe and healthy as possible. Read More

Prescription for a pandemic

OTTAWA — At the height of the 2003 SARS crisis, Canada’s patchwork public-health system was sputtering along. Officials tracked infections with sticky notes and there was constant squabbli... Read More

 

Importance of saying goodbye

In times such as this, semi-retired Winnipeg pastor John Braun thinks back to the death of his father in 2008. There was an influenza outbreak, and seniors care facilities had shut their doors to visi... Read More

 

Duration of physical distancing still unknown

Whether Manitoba’s public-health orders were imposed early enough to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19 in this province is expected to become clear within weeks. But there isn’t enou... Read More

 

Winnipeg water supply safe

Editor’s Note: Longtime readers of the Free Press might remember a regular feature called Answers, where, in a time before Google, we answered readers’ questions. Since even Google does no... Read More

 

Manitoba COVID-19 cases surpass 200, but Gimli care home cleared

While reporting on Sunday that Manitoba has surpassed the 200 mark in terms of positive and probable cases of COVID-19, the chief provincial public health officer also released some positive news. Dr. Read More

 

Income assistance increase urged

A shrewd shopper at the best of times, Rina Hermkens’ search for affordable groceries has become more difficult in the weeks since Manitoba’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed, as many... Read More

 

NATIONAL NEWS


‘The Charter still applies’: Canadians urged to monitor civil liberties during pandemic

A collection of breaking news briefs filed on April 9, 2020 | • Dauphin's Countryfest cancelled | • RRC students can apply for emergency support funding | • First business ordered to close due to COVID-19 | • Three new cases of COVID-19 | • Fines set for those breaching emergency public health orders | • John W. Dafoe book prize short list announced | • Waywayseecappo man arrested on firearm charges | • Non-medical cotton gloves, gowns sought for social service workers | • Province launches educational portal to support e-learning | • City warns of temporary traffic disruptions Saturday, next week | • Police on scene of 'serious incident' in St. John's | • Retail workers' union calls for standardized social distancing Read More

 

B.C.’s health officer says decrease in COVID cases ‘heartening’

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s medical health officer says the province seems to be holding its own against COVID-19, which is why officials are so cautious about people returning from othe... Read More

Trudeau to talk to Trump about COVID masks after White House bars export

OTTAWA – Faced with a White House-ordered ban on exports of key COVID-19 medical supplies to Canada and abroad, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying a more diplomatic approach with U.S. Presi... Read More

 

Hajdu brings anthropology, public health experience to COVID-19 fight

OTTAWA – Patty Hajdu “fell in love” with cultural anthropology at university. Now, as Canada’s federal health minister in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s playin... Read More

 

Anxiety lingers as N.L. officials trace bulk of COVID-19 cases to funeral home

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – On a day off work in mid-March, Craig Dyer took some time to pay his respects at the funeral of a co-worker’s brother. He stopped by Caul’s Funeral Home in S... Read More

 

With workers at home, feds eye ways to fast-track training program, groups say

OTTAWA – The federal government is looking at ways to speed up the introduction of skills-training for out-of-work Canadians, say groups involved in helping implement the program. The training h... Read More

 

COVID response offers chance to shift direction of Canadian economy: experts

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be a long way off, but analysts are already looking ahead to how Canada could hasten its recovery and position itself for a low-carbon economy. “The main thi... Read More

 

Ontario COVID-19 deaths jump past 100; caseload more than 4,000

TORONTO – Another 25 people in Ontario have succumbed to COVID-19, bringing the provincial death toll for those who have tested positive for the virus to 119, health authorities reported on Sund... Read More

Canada looking to disinfect used masks, Tam asks they not be thrown away

OTTAWA – Canadian hospitals should not throw out used face masks and other protective equipment because public health officials are investigating whether it will be possible to disinfect and reu... Read More

 

Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador takes aim at Trump over medical supplies

Donald Trump’s suggestion the United States could ban exports of medical supplies to Canada has infuriated the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dwight Ball made a point Sunday of reminding... Read More

 

COVID crisis prompts B.C. mill to boost medical pulp production

NANAIMO, B.C. – A British Columbia mill that makes a special recipe of pulp for surgical masks, gowns and other medical supplies has doubled up on its production for an American customer amid th... Read More

Scenes from a capital in crisis

OTTAWA — March is normally a noisy time on Parliament Hill, when the government tables its budget and departments scramble to spend untapped allocations before the fiscal year wraps up. Annual r... Read More

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS


China honours virus victims with 3 minutes of reflection

WUHAN, China – With air raid sirens wailing and flags at half-staff, China held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection on Saturday to honour those who have died in the coronavirus outbre... Read More

 

German restaurant takes novel approach to keep cider flowing

FRANKFURT – How does a traditional German restaurant comply with the untraditional demands of the coronavirus era? Thomas Metzmacher was faced with the prospect of having to shut down his Frankf... Read More

 

No COVID-19 testing at home yet but quicker options coming

WASHINGTON – Home testing for the new coronavirus may sound like a good idea, but U.S. regulators say it’s still too risky. They’ve stopped companies that quickly launched home-testi... Read More

 

Singer Pink says she had COVID-19, gives $1M to relief funds

LOS ANGELES – The singer Pink had tested positive for COVID-19, she said Friday, also announcing that she is donating $500,000 each to two emergency funds. In a pair of tweets, she said she and... Read More

 

COVID-19 BASICS


COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19 is now impacting the lives of Canadians on many levels and people across the country are seeking answers to numerous important questions they have about the novel coronavirus. Below is a summ... Read More

 

Still open and ready to serve

In a bid to help restaurants, mom-and-pop shops and other local businesses hurting during these trying times, the Free Press launched a directory service to help our community connect with companies still open for business. Read More

 

What to do if COVID-19 suspected

Manitoba’s health department has implemented guidelines for who to call and where to go if Manitobans are concerned they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus or are exhibiting symptoms... Read More

 

Share:

     

More Great Reads From Us

Discover our other email alerts or manage your email subscriptions by clicking here .

Advertisement