Local News

A Plastic Bag Ban Has Been Put on Hold.

At the Flin Flon City Council meeting last night Mayor Cal Huntley said Council will forgo for the immediate future the plastic bag ban they have been developing since with the current COVID-19 situation you can’t take your own shopping bags into stores.

             

Council received the Fire Chiefs report for March indicating five incidents including assistance to Emergency Services, a fire in a pot on a stove, a snowmobile fire, an electric baseboard heater fire and a leaking water heater tripping a breaker.

             

Council received a letter from the United Steelworkers local 7106 advising due to COVID-19 they will not be holding their annual Day of Mourning ceremony.  They ask businesses around town to lower their flags at half mast on that day April 28th.  The Steelworkers will be laying a wreath in Flin Flon and Snow Lake to honor men and women who have been killed or injured at work and ask people to take a moment of silence for all those that have been lost.

Travel, Food and communications are concerns on First Nations.

While northern First Nations are setting up checkstops to maintain control of traffic in and out of their communities in order to help their members self-isolate, it’s important for supplies to still make it through.

 

Garrison Settee, Grand Chief of MKO reports they’ve been in contact with the corporations that work with their First Nations communities to make sure they’re inventory is getting through and that’s been happening but with the medical supplies there’s a shortage everywhere in Canada like masks and hand sanitizer and so forth so those things are a bit of a challenge still..”

 

Settee says hunters and medicine people have been encouraged to go out to stock up on the traditional foods and medicines that they rely on to promote good health.

 

He adds another main challenge facing first nations during this pandemic is the lacknof reliable phone and internet services.     This impedes MKO’s efforts to reach their leadership and will also impact education for students on first nations with educational packages having to be dropped at their homes. 

 

There Has Been a Third COVID-19 Related Death in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin released the latest numbers this afternoon.  He reports 13 new cases bringing the total to 217.  He also reports a third death, 12 individuals are hospitalized and of that 6 are in intensive care and they are listing 21 individuals as recovered.  There are 3 confirmed cases in the northern region.

             

The third Manitoba death was a man in his 60’s from Winnipeg who had underlying medical conditions.

             

Roussin adds as the virus is spreading person to person to be safe you should assume the virus is in your community and follow the recommended protocols.  He also reminds all travelers from outside Manitoba you must self isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

             

Saskatchewan reports seven new cases bringing their total to 260, 160 of the cases are considered active, seven people are in hospital, 88 people are reported recovered and there are four cases in the far north.

A Flin Flon RCMP Officer was Threatened with COVID-19

At approximately 9:25Friday night RCMP responded to a call of a disturbance on Second Avenue.

 

Officers were advised that a 16-year-old male was on the street in possession of a knife while making threats to harm a homeowner.

Officers placed him under arrest for Uttering Threats and Possession of a Weapon. He was transported to the Creighton RCMP detachment. As the youth was being led into the detachment, he began making threats that included references to COVID-19 and then forcefully coughed multiple times into the officer’s face. He was then arrested for Assaulting a Police Officer. He was later released to his family.

It is not believed that the youth has COVID-19 but, as a precautionary measure, the officer is self-monitoring.

Sergeant Paul Manaigre says their officers are focusing on education and are using discretion when it comes to enforcing measures related to COVID-19, however, they will arrest individuals who willfully disregard public health measures and potentially endanger others.

Flin Flon RCMP continue to investigate.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister Has Again Called on the Federal Government for Borrowing Support.

Pallister says COVID-19 has shut down the economy so borrowing is the only way governments are going to get money to support health care.  He called for a Federal Emergency Reserve Savings Fund explaining the federal government should act as the intermediary for all provinces in their borrowing.  He says they should co-ordinate this national emergency response as they can borrow at much lower rates and they can pass those savings on as a service to Team Canada.  He notes it could save Manitobans in excess of a billion dollars in just the next ten years adding lower interest payments mean more money for health care now and in the future and lower burdens on future generations too.

             

Pallister says he is waiting for a response from the federal government but all provinces are onboard with the plan.

 

There was Only One Case of COVID-19 Reported.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin released the latest numbers Monday afternoon. He reports one additional case bringing the total number of cases to 204, 11 individuals are currently hospitalized with seven in intensive care, 17 individuals have recovered and the total number of deaths remains at two.

             

Dr Roussin said there now appears to be a reason to wear a mask.  He explains the use of non-medical masks in public is an additional way to protect those around you by reducing the chances of droplet transmission.  He notes it should be clear that wearing these masks is very unlikely to protect the individual wearing the mask, it’s more to protect the people around them but the major message is that now is the time to stay home, social distancing at all times and when that may not be possible wearing a non-medical mask may be of benefit to protect others around that individual.

             

Roussin adds as COVID-19 is spreading person to person they are prepared to see some increased numbers.

 

Flin Flon RCMP are Investigating a Snowmobile Fatality.

The RCMP report a 42 year old man died due to injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident.  It occurred on the road behind the Willowpark area around 9:20 yesterday morning.  He was the only person involved and police are still investigating the accident.

First Nations Communities in Our Area are Taking the Right Steps to Protect Themselves.

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey says there are concerns if COVID-19 moves into First Nations communities. He explains many of those communities have already enacted their own state of emergency and erected blockades trying to prevent people that may be exposed or may already have it from getting into some of those northern communities that are really lacking health care facilities and have crowded housing with 10 to 12 to 15 people to a house, how do they practice social distancing and proper hand washing, all those issues just get exemplified so they’re further ahead in keeping it out in the first place.

             

Lindsey adds a lack of medical supplies is also a problem in First Nations and other northern communities as well as having the medical personnel you need to deal with issues that come up.

 

As adults struggle to manage the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic our children also need to have their concerns heard.

Sara Austen, CEO and founder of the children’s advocacy group called Children First Canada, says kids need reassurance now more than ever.  She says parents, grandparents and other family members have a really important role to play right now in helping reassure our children.  She notes you don’t have to have all the answers, we don’t have to know what the next weeks or months will hold but we do need to be able to reassure our kids and let our kids talk about the things that they are concerned about adding even very young kids can articulate their fears and concerns and need a chance to talk about it.                                               

 

Austen says at-risk children will be at a greater risk now that schools are closed.  That’s because they are missing out on breakfast and lunch programs that help them combat hunger. 

 

They’re also away from the teachers, school nurses and other professionals who keep an eye out for incidents of abuse.     Austen says the cases of abuse are already on the rise due to the stress being created by enforced isolation and lack of finances.

COVID-19 Numbers in Manitoba Went Up Again Over the Weekend.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin released the latest COVID-19 numbers this afternoon.  He announced 9 new cases bringing their total to 203, the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 remains at 2, 11 individuals are hospitalized, of these 7 are in intensive care, they are reporting 17 individuals are listed as recovered and public health investigations continue to confirm details and information will be provided on their website as it is received. 

             

The number of confirmed cases in the north remains at 2.

             

Roussin advises people to remain within or close to their home communities.  This includes limiting travel even within Manitoba to essential trips only.  He notes services at smaller health centres could be strained if seasonal visitors become ill.

 

There is a Second Death Related to COVID-19 in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has released the latest COVID-19 numbers.  He reports 15 new cases bringing the total to 182 adding they’re also announcing the second death related to COVID-19 bringing the total number of deaths to two.  He notes as of this morning 9 individuals are hospitalized, of that 6 are in intensive care and their reports indicate 11 individuals listed as recovered.  As well yesterday 634 tests were preformed at Cadham Provincial Lab bringing the total number of completed test to 11,952.

             

There are still two confirmed cases in the north.

             

With cases being found in Manitoba communities Roussin again asks all Manitobans to continue to take precautions in all their activities most importantly stay home.

 

Saskatachewan reports 206 confirmed cases including 3 deaths and 36 resolved.  3 confirmed cases are in this area the far north.

The Government is Providing Financial Relief for Manitobans.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced this morning their plans to support those who need economic relief.  He says they are providing a four month deferral period for individuals and businesses to pay their provincial income taxes, that period will extend to August 31st of this year with no interest or penalties.  He reports they are providing a six month deferral period for any interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro or Centra Gas bills, for MPI premiums, for Workers Compensation Board Premiums and also for education property tax.

             

Pallister adds for those who can pay their taxes and bills do so as that is the money the government depends on for their income.

Kids Have Concerns About COVID-19.

Kids have a lot of questions about COVID-19 and Shared Health is providing information.  Pediatrician Dr. William Li explains in kids it mostly is mild so that’s a little bit of temperature, a little bit of runny nose and coughing however there are certain kids who can be a bit more severe and sicker and those are with poorly controlled asthma and problems with their immune systems and of course there’s other people in Manitoba that are at risk and those are some of the elderly like grandma and grandpa so our job is to try to protect us and everyone else and prevent and stop the spread of the germs.

             

Dr.Li adds more information for kids is available from the Canadian Pediatric Society and other organizations and will be shared on the Shared Health website.

 

More Information is Needed on COVID-19 Cases.

Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey says there has to be a change in listing COVID-19 case locations only by health region.  He notes people are concerned about their communities as it’s in other communities and that’s one of the things they’ve been trying to get the government to do, to release better information as to which community it’s in because when you say there’s been a case in northern Manitoba that’s a pretty big swath of territory so is it in Tadoule Lake, is it in Flin Flon, those are the things that really more information would prevent a lot of angst, heartache and stuff that the government could be putting that information out.

             

Lindsey adds more information sometimes is better without violating anyone’s privacy.

COVID-19 Numbers are Again Up in Manitoba.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reports 40 new cases of COVID-19 bringing their total to 167, the total number of deaths remains at one, five individuals are currently hospitalized, four of those are in intensive care and they are reporting 11 individuals that are listed as recovered. There are now two confirmed cases in the north.

             

Roussin also reports three additional staff at two Manitoba health care facilities, Health Science Centre Winnipeg and Betel Home Gimli have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being provided direction and as a result of a respiratory illness outbreak among residents at Betel nine residents are being tested for the cause of their illness.  Public Health is also advising people to limit travel even within Manitoba to essential trips only.

Computers are Available to Those in Need.

Tech Manitoba is offering free refurbished computers with digital training to families in need in our area.  They state during this COVID-19 outbreak many families and individuals are disconnected from society entirely and we rely on the internet to access timely information, work from home and connect with family and friends but those without a computer or who lack digital skills are further isolated.

             

This is a pilot project with a limited supply of computers and they have heard from many parents and students in need so they are trying to source more computers by partnering with others in the community to build their supply.

             

If you would like to nominate a deserving person, family or organization in need of a computer or is lacking basic computer skills fill out the form at https://techmanitoba.ca/digitall or call and leave a message at 431-478-0165. You can also call to donate a computer at 431-557-6644.

Nurses Are Needed to Return to Work to Deal With COVID-19.

 

             

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen has announced steps to reduce the strain on our health care system including the current workforce. He reports he is issuing a directive under the regulated health professions act.  This order he says enables the registrar of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba to wave or modify registration requirements for former nurses to essentially fast track their return to practice during this pandemic.

             

Friesen notes the nurse returning to practice must have been a member of the College in good standing with the authority to practice within the past five years and must be able to safely provide care.  Registration fees for nurses will be waived during this process. 

 

 

 

Link:  www.crnm.mb.ca/about/covid19.

 

There are Indications of Covid-19 Community Transmission in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has released the latest COVID-19 numbers. He announced 24 new cases taking their total to 127, the total number of deaths related to COVID -19 remains at one, four individuals are hospitalized, three of those are in intensive care and their data indicates four individuals are listed as recovered.

             

Roussin reports public health officials are seeing signs of community transmission in Winnipeg and they have not been able to confirm if there’s any connection to travel or confirmed cases.  He notes they knew to expect this as more cases are introduced to the jurisdiction so now is the time to stay home and if you must go out for essentials practice social distancing at all times.

 

The number of deaths in Saskatchewan from COVID-19 has risen to three. The Ministry of Health says a patient in their 80s died from complications related to the virus. The province reported nine new cases of the virus yesterday bringing the total to 193.  The Justice Minister says that includes five staff at a Saskatoon jail but no inmates have tested positive.

You Can Still Sign Up for a Summer Camp.

Simon House Bible Camp is still accepting registrations for their summer program online at www.simonhouse.ca.  Camp Director Darrell Janzen states while they wait and see what the summer will hold they have created a pre-registration option where parents can register their children without putting any money down for a deposit now.  He adds should they be able to proceed with the summer program people will have their spots and they will collect the registration fee later.

             

Their website again for registration and information is www.simonhouse.ca.

Exploration has Paid Off for Hudbay in The Snow Lake Region.

Hudbay Minerals has released an update on its annual mineral reserve and resource estimates and its exploration activities.  Their President and CEO Peter Kukielski says they are extremely pleased with their exploration success over the past 12 months in Manitoba where they’ve doubled the mine life in Snow Lake and more than doubled Lalor’s annual gold production from current levels.  He notes in addition to replacing the ore that was mined at Constancia in Peru last year they are also encouraged by recent drilling results north of the Constancia pit where high grade skarn mineralization has been intersected.

             

Successes listed include based on the most recent estimate of mineral reserves the Triple Seven mine life in Flin Flon has been extended to the end of the second quarter of 2022 and a 35 percent increase in total Snow Lake gold reserves to 2.2 million ounces supporting an 18 year mine life for the Snow Lake operations.

 

COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Climb in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has released the latest COVID-19 numbers.  He reported seven new cases bringing their total to 103, the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 remains at one, three individuals are hospitalized, of that two are currently in intensive care.  He says their numbers indicate that four individuals are listed as recovered.  Public health investigations are ongoing and as details are confirmed their website will be updated.                     

             

Their website is www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

             

Roussin again noted they do not release cases by community but by health region so he emphasizes continuing to practice safe distancing.

 

Meanwhile Saskatchewan has eight new cases bringing the province's total to 184.  Health officials say one person is in intensive care while 21 other people have now recovered from the virus.  On Monday the province announced its first two deaths related to COVID-19. Both people were in their 70s. Updates can be found online at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19.

School Closings Have Been Extended in Manitoba.

Manitoba Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen has announced K to 12 in school classes have been suspended indefinitely for the school year unless the Public Health Officer says it is safe to go back.  He reports marks for all students will be base lined, they essentially hold at where they were at the last day of regular classes or exams but students will be expected to continue learning during this in school suspension.  He says they will have the opportunity to increase their marks during additional learning.  He notes grade 12 provincial exams are cancelled because they would not be a meaningful measure of a student’s effort for this year.  Students will be given assignments, final mark and assessment and teachers will be remotely teaching and assessing students who will receive a report card.

             

Goertzen adds for K to 8 students teachers will continue to engage with parents and students using existing communication tools and provide resources to parents and 9 to 12 will continue to learn using online and distance resources.

The Manitoba Government has Issued New COVID-19 Orders Affecting Business.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has advised all Manitoba non-essential businesses will close effective tomorrow.  He says restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery and take out only.  The operator of that restaurant must ensure that all persons maintain appropriate social distancing from one another when picking up.  He notes grocery stores will remain open but they must also maintain appropriate social distancing between their customers.  Bars will be closed as will personal service businesses such as hair salons and massage therapy services.

             

Roussin adds this does not prevent businesses from operating on a remote basis.  The closures do not affect health care facilities, government services and other institutions.

             

More information on affected businesses can be found online at www.engagemanitoba.ca.

 

Denare Beach Residents are Urged to Follows the Rules Under the State of Emergency in Saskatchewan.

Denare Beach Mayor Carl Lentowicz reminds residents to follow rules regarding hand washing, six foot distancing as well as self isolation after international travel.  He notes Denare Beach employees are considered essential to the operation of the community needs stating their health is paramount to consideration to ensure delivery of municipal services that are essential to the community including sewer, water, fires, solid waste, roads and administration so to meet this requirement they have met provincial requirements by shutting down their recreation which includes the Denareplex, weight room, playgrounds, hockey bunk and beaches.  He notes the administration building is closed to the public to reduce contact and prevent illness.

             

Lentowicz adds a lock box is available for payments at the Village Office so you can contact them at 306-362-2054, fax 306-362-2257 or email denarebeach@sasktel.net.  Information updates are available on their Facebook page or on their website.

Saskatchewan is reporting its first two deaths from COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health says two people in their 70s died from complications related to the virus on Sunday.

It says they died in hospital in different parts of the province and one of the cases was travel-related.

The province has also reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, which bring the total to 176.

It says five people are in hospital and one patient is in intensive care.

The province says most of the cases are related to travel or large gatherings, but eight are the result of community transmission.

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