Local News

A COVID Outbreak at the Hospital in The Pas is Over While Younger People in Saskatchewan Have Been Vaccinated.

Manitoba public health reported 353 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.6 percent.  They also reported four additional deaths with two in Winnipeg and one each in Northern health and Prairie Mountain.  On Saturday the outbreak at St. Anthony’s Hospital Psychiatric Unit in The Pas was declared over.  Of the new cases 223 were in Winnipeg, 60 in Northern health, 30 in Prairie Mountain and 27 in Southern health.  There are 15 active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district, 13 in Thompson Mystery Lake and 20 in The Pas, OCN, Kelsey.  On Saturday they noted a total of 710 variants of concern have been reported with 287 active with seven in the Northern region.

             

Meanwhile Saskatchewan reported 538 new cases of COVID-19over the weekend. They also reported three additional deaths with one each in Central East, North West and North Central zones.  Of the new cases 106 were in Regina, 41 in South East and 32 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including two in Far North East. As of Saturday 4664 variants of concern cases have been identified in the province with 2857 in Regina, 452 in South East and 441 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including two in Far North East.  They also note 49 percent of Saskatchewan residents age 40 plus have received their first dose of vaccine.

 

New Cases of COVID-19 are Spread Over Several Zones in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 221 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 264.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in the North West zone and the South East zone.  Of the new cases 57 are in Regina, 25 each in Saskatoon, South Central and South East zones, 21 in North West, 18 in South West, 11 in Central East and single digits in other zones including five in Far North East.   Of the total 37,615 reported cases 2603 are considered active and 34,550 people have recovered.

             

The current number of variants of concern is 4326 with the larger number in the south and central zones including 2731 in Regina.  The Far North East still reports two cases.

             

They also report 58 percent of Saskatchewan residents ages 50 and over have received their first dose of the vaccine.

A COVID-19 Outbreak Has Been Declared in the Flin Flon Personal Care Home

Manitoba Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal announced 127 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.1 percent.  He also announced no additional deaths.

 

Of the new cases 75 were in the Winnipeg region and 29 in Northern health with lower numbers in other regions.  An outbreak has been declared at the Flin Flon Personal Care Home and it has been moved to the critical level.  The total number of variants of concern cases in the province is now 704 with 315 active.  Atwal says they are reviewing current restrictions and they don’t want to have to introduce public health measures but they are working on finalizing their plans and they’ll be sharing information on any new restrictions in the coming days and what they introduce will depend on the numbers they’re seeing and the epidemiology of the cases over the next short period of time.

             

Eligibility to be immunized has been expanded to include individuals age 57 or older and First Nations people aged 37 and older and information is expected next week on expanding to include first responders and all adults living in communities with the highest risk including people with frontline public facing roles in those communities.

Public Health Orders Must Continue to be Followed.

Northern Health Region CEO Helga Bryant has given an update on the current COVID-19 situation in the region.  She explains we’re still having quite a few cases and of course the contacts that are associated with those cases but most of those continue to be recovering successfully at home on self-isolation so they certainly have capacity both in public health and in acute care and they wish the cases were less as that’s always their goal to get down to zero cases but they are doing fine in terms of their capacity.

 

Now that variant COVID-19 cases have been reported in the north Bryant stresses the importance of continuing to follow the public health orders in place even if you’ve been vaccinated.

 

She adds northerners have the opportunity to get ahead of the third wave of the virus given the size of our population and encourages residents to get the vaccine once they’re eligible.

 

That way we can avoid another round of strict protocols that would be put in place on households, schools, workplaces, and businesses during the summer months.

 

Free Computer Courses are Continuing for People in The North.

University College of the North in Flin Flon is offering free computer courses.  The College’s Craig Cowper says they have a number of introductory courses with their partner Tech Manitoba running through to the end of June.  He explains these are virtual courses that people can sign up and then do from their homes in the evenings.  He says they have courses like Introduction to Excel, Introduction to iPads, Intro to Digital Pictures and even one on email, social media and privacy and each one of these generally runs from 6 to 9 in the evening for three consecutive days and they’ve got staggered registrations throughout the months of April, May and June.

             

For information or to register for these courses you can contact Craig at the Northern Mining Academy at 204-687-7038 or email crcowper@ucn.ca.

With nearly one in two Canadians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime the Canadian Cancer Society is asking for support to continue the fight against the disease.

Spokesperson Brad Stevenson says a major fundraiser for the Society is the Daffodil Month campaign explaining how this year’s campaign is looking.  He explains in a normal year the campaign might see tens of thousands of volunteers take to the streets across the county whether that means going door to door to collect donations, selling live daffodils or pins on the street or running fund raising events so the campaign had a major volunteer element in previous years. Obviously he says they’re not asking Canadian to join them that way this year, in fact they need to meet physical distance requirements so they will not be selling daffodils and their fresh flowers or canvassing door to door but donations have never been needed more so this year they’re asking Canadians to donate online, perhaps give a direct donation or create a digital daffodil in honor of someone they love by going to www.cancer.ca/daffodil.

 

Stevenson adds for more than 70 years the organization has been able to fund research, provide support systems for those who have cancer and shape health policies thanks to their fundraising efforts.

 

The Vaccine Age Continues to go Down in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 284.  They also reported two additional deaths with one each in Regina and the South East zone.  Of the new cases 87 are in Regina, 74 in Saskatoon, 24 each in North West and South East zones, 22 in Central East and single digits in other zones.  Of the total 37, 384 reported cases 2599 are reported active and 34,325 people have recovered.  They also report 4183 variants of concern have been identified to date.

             

They note in an effort to protect residents as quickly as possible the eligible age for booking vaccination appointments online or by telephone has been lowered to 48 years effective tomorrow.

A New Variant of Concern is in Manitoba.

           

Manitoba public health announced 149 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.3 percent.  They also reported one additional death in the Interlake Eastern region. They also advised the first case of the P-1 variant of concern first identified in Brazil has been confirmed in Manitoba. The total number of reported cases of concern is 647 of which 288 are active.

             

Of the new COVID cases 73 are in Winnipeg, 57 in Northern health and ten in Interlake Eastern with single digits in other regions.  Active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon district are now at 20.

             

Of the total 35,688 reported cases 1528 are considered active and 33,205 people have recovered.

A Drill Program Near Snow Lake Will Benefit From a Grant.

Rockcliff Metals has announced a six hole 18 hundred meter drill program has started at their Rail property 38 kilometers southwest of Snow Lake. The drill program will be subsidized by a 300 thousand dollar grant from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund.  President Alistair Ross says a program such as the Mineral Development Fund is a great incentive and highlights the Manitoba government is aligned with their industry and is willing to assist in the discovery and mine development in the province.

             

The focus of the Rail drill program is to test geophysical VMS type anomalies south of the existing Rail Deposit with a focus on opportunities for significant expansion at the Rail Property.  The property is part of the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment that envisioned the development of the Tower high grade copper deposit in parallel with the refurbishment of the leased Bucko mill followed by the development of the copper rich Rail Deposit.

Self Isolating Was the Focus of The School Board Meeting This Week.

The Flin Flon School Division Trustees had a reminder for families and students at their latest meeting Tuesday.  If you’ve been travelling out of province you are to self isolate for two weeks upon your return.  If anyone is showing symptoms but is not known to be exposed they should isolate and get tested.  That person needs to isolate until they have a negative test result and are free of symptoms for 24 hours or ten days from symptom onset if they choose not to be tested.  Even if household members have no symptoms they should also isolate until a negative result is received.

             

The Board also passed a motion that the Division rarify the agreement in committee with the Flin Flon Teachers Association dated April 6th, 2021 subject to ratification by the Teachers Association. The second motion passed was to refer Bill 64 discussions to Strategic Planning.

Reported COVID-19 Cases Have Topped 37 Thousand in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 193 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 217. They also reported one death in the South East zone.  Of the new cases 66 are in Regina, 40 in Saskatoon, 20 in North East with numbers in the teens or single digits in other zones.  Of the total 37,085 reported cases 2525 are active and 34,102 people have recovered.  3901 variants of concern have been identified with the large numbers still in Regina with 2532, 378 in South East, 333 in South Central and 328 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including two in Far North East.

             

They also note in an effort to protect residents as quickly as possible the eligible age for booking vaccination appointment online or by telephone has been lowered to 52.  Fifty-five percent of residents age 50 plus have received their first dose.

Vaccine Eligibility is Being Reviewed in Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate down to 5.3 percent.  They also reported three additional deaths with one each in Prairie Mountain, Winnipeg and Southern health regions. Of the new cases 53 are in the Winnipeg region and 16 in Northern health with single digits in other regions.  The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridon District is 17.

             

The Medical Lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force Dr. Joss Reimer says the age for vaccine eligibility has been changed so people aged 59 and older and First Nations aged 39 and older are now eligible to make an appointment to get the vaccine.  She wants to assure Manitobans that they are also looking closely right now to determine how they can best protect people at risk of COVID-19.  She notes they already know that certain areas of the province are seeing higher case counts and rates of transmission.

             

Reimer says she wants to see everyone in the province vaccinated and they are reviewing the use of pop-up clinics.

             

Of the total 35,539 reported cases 1439 are active and 33,146 individuals have recovered.  The total variants of concern cases reported is now 560.

 

Hudbay Reports Positive COVID-19 Cases in Flin Flon and Snow Lake.

In a statement to media Hudbay confirms there are a total of seven positive cases of COVID-19 at their Snow Lake and Flin Flon operations with most in Snow Lake.  They are also aware of a number of potential additional cases for which test results are pending.  They add all affected individuals are in self-isolation as are all known close contacts and contact tracing is being conducted by public health.

             

Hudbay adds it appears workplace transmission is likely to have occurred and is investigating how this happened and will take all remedial steps to prevent further transmission.  They are also providing rapid PCR testing to all those who work in Snow Lake.

             

Operations at their Stall mill remain temporarily suspended due to not having sufficient team members to operate the plant which is expected to start up this week.

 

Now is the Time to Register Younger Students for Creighton School.

Creighton Community School is now accepting Pre-K and Kindergarten registrations for the 2021-22 school year. Principal Patti Korchinski explains Pre-K parents and Kindergarten parents can pick up applications for the 2021-22 school year at the school or they can get them off of their website at www.creightonschool.com. She notes Pre-K students should be born in 2018 and Kindergarten students should be born in 2016 for the fall.

             

Parents registering children will need a copy of the child’s birth certificate and their address and phone number.  The deadline to register is May 7th.

 

Manitoba Wants to Hear Input on Education in the Province.

Education Minister Cliff Cullen has announced the creation of a number of task forces and advisory panels that will help shape the future of Manitoba’s education system.  He says they want to engage Manitobans in the process.  He announced they will be launching a Parent Engagement Task Force made up of government MLAs and parents as well as school and community leaders.  He explained this Task Force will lead 15 regional town halls to hear Manitobans on how to improve parental voice and engagement and be respectful of their time.  He adds this group will also hold workshops with Parental Advisory Councils and school leaders to explore parental involvement.

             

The province is also creating advisory groups that will provide a representative voice in helping advance priority actions and he will be holding a Minister’s listening tour of the province in the coming months to hear from teachers and school leaders across the province.

 

A Change in Public Health Orders is in Effect in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan public health announced a change to the public health order will come into effect immediately limiting household bubbles to immediate households only for all of the province.  Worship gathering sizes will allow no more than 30 people effective this Friday.

             

Saskatchewan public health reported 228 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of new cases to 271.  Of the new cases Regina has 117, Saskatoon 44, North West 31 and Central East 22 with numbers in the teens and single digits in other zones. Of the total 36,892 reported cases 2555 are considered active and 33,880 people have recovered.  3813 variants of concern have been identified in the province with the larger numbers in Regina with 2505, 329 in South Central, 302 in Saskatoon and 111 in Central East with lower numbers in other zones.

 

A Variant of Concern Has Been Found in Northern Manitoba.

Manitoba public health reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to six percent.  They also reported two additional deaths in the Winnipeg region.  They reported the first case of a variant of concern in northern Manitoba without specifying where in the region.  The total number of variants of concern cases reported so far in the province is 479.

             

Of the new COVID cases 89 are in the Winnipeg region and 34 in Northern health with single digits in other regions. Of the total 35,459 reported cases 1438 are considered active and 33,070 individuals have recovered.

             

In partnership with the Chief and Council from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation provincial health officials have lifted the public health orders in place for that community.  All other general public health orders remain in effect for the community.

Local Area Artists are Reminded the Deadline is Approaching to Enter the Northern Juried Art Show.

The 44th annual Northern Juried Art Show is being hosted by The Pas Arts Council with the entry deadline May 1st. One of the organizers James Dean says the show will be online this year but is still open to Manitoba artists living north of the 53rd parallel including Creighton and Denare Beach.  He says artists are limited to three entries in a variety of categories including oil painting in one category, another is acrylic painting and mixed media, number three is water color, four is drawing and print making, five is digital arts and photography, three dimensional art like jewelry and stained glass with category two stone, wood, clay, metal as we know we have some carvers in the north, fiber arts is number eight and they are pushing their youth ages 13 to 17 as they really want the youth to take hold of the arts in their category.

             

There is also a special theme depicting Manitoba Waterways.  Registration forms have been mailed to artists who have entered in the past.  If you need a registration form and more information on how to enter online visit their website www.thepasartscouncil.ca.  Winners will be announced May 27th.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities in Winnipeg is increasing its capacity, which will benefit families living in northern and rural communities.

The new house will go from 14 bedrooms to 40 and will have larger rooms for family comfort as well as increased family programming which will support the physical and emotional wellbeing of families while their child goes through medical treatment

 

Patricia Kandiurin, a mother from Churchill whose family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Winnipeg when her youngest son was receiving treatment after he was born prematurely says she’s thrilled to hear the facility is increasing capacity.  She explains she’s really glad they’re expanding because the House was always full and when you have 14 families there it gets a little bit overwhelming sometimes but it’s so nice to have people there that you can talk to about what you’re going through and relate to them.  She adds it’s comforting and to have many more families like that it just makes the Ronald McDonald family bigger.

 

In 2019, 205 families were on the wait list for Ronald McDonald House with an average number of nights on the waitlist being four.

 

First Responders in Saskatchewan Will Soon Be Vaccinated.

Saskatchewan health reported 300 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 261. They also reported one death in the Regina zone.  Of the new cases 96 are in Regina, 72 in Saskatoon, South East and Central East 22 each with the remaining zones in the teens or single digits including Far North East with three.  Of the total 36,604 reported cases 2549 are considered active and 33,600 people have recovered.  Variants of concern total 3485 with the highest number in Regina with 2423, South East 348, South Central 309 and Saskatoon 181 with much lower number in other zones including one in Far North East.

             

Saskatchewan’s vaccine delivery plan will begin to target first responders including police officers, fire fighters and public health inspectors through mobile vaccination units once current priority populations are complete.

Manitoba Could Be Looking at Stronger Restrictions.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate up to 6.2 percent.  He reported no additional deaths.  Of the new cases 62 are in the Winnipeg region, 36 in Northern health and single digits in other regions.  Roussin says public health orders must be followed to keep numbers down.  He explains they have seen the early stages of a wave, they’ve tried to message how important it is for people to follow the fundamentals to reduce the amount of contacts but what they’ve seen in their contact tracing is just increasing numbers of contacts of cases, increasing issues with gatherings especially in private residences, increasing issues with returned travelers who don’t isolate as per the order now resulting in many other households as contacts.

             

Roussin adds we know what to do and if we don’t act now we’ll be back to much stricter restrictions very soon including possibly outdoor mask use and reduced gathering numbers.  Confirmed cases now total 35,327 and 1370 are active with variants of concern case numbers not released today.

Funding is Available to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

An organizing group is looking into holding a North American EV Rally in 2022.  The group’s Volker Beckmann from Thompson says Manitoba has one of the lowest electricity rates in North America and an abundant supply of clean sustainable energy yet Manitoba’s EV infrastructure is seriously lacking in the north. He explains even if they wanted an electric car in Flin Flon or Thompson for example from Tesla he could order one and they deliver it to your door but you wouldn’t be able to drive to Winnipeg because the distances in between are too far so we need somebody to take a look at that and there’s different ways that could be done in terms of getting EV infrastructure into the north and that’s missing right now unfortunately noting Manitoba is the furthest behind in EV development compared to the rest of the provinces in our country.

             

Beckmann says we need the province or Manitoba Hydro to support the installation of level three charging stations in each community to allow residents and visitors to reach all parts of the province and allow for events like an EV rally.  He adds there is funding available to communities for installations until June 22nd with information at www.nrcan.gc.ca.

 

A Drill Program West of Flin Flon Continues to Show Impressive Results.

Foran Mining Executive Chairman Dan Myerson reports outstanding drill results continue to amass from their largest drill program to date at McIlvenna Bay 65 kilometers west of Flin Flon on the Hanson Lake Road.  He says they continue to define a high grade copper and gold trend that includes 22 meters of continuous mineralization with 2.95 meters grading 6.88 percent copper equivalent of the Massive Sulphide lens and 18.05 meters grading 2.71 percent copper equivalent from the underlying Copper Stockwork Zone.  Myerson adds these holes continue to deliver beyond their expectations.

             

The winter drill program has been underway since mid-January. The infill segment of the 30 thousand meter program has focused on increasing Foran’s knowledge of the deeper parts of the deposit to convert the current inferred resources to the indicated category with all five holes drilled to date returning high grade results.

A COVID-19 Outbreak in The Pas Has Been Declared Over and Total Reported Cases in Saskatchewan Topped 36 Thousand.

Manitoba public health reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend bringing the five day test positivity rate to 5.9 percent.  They also reported one additional death in the Winnipeg region.  Of the new cases 136 are in Winnipeg and 60 in Northern health with lower numbers in other regions. The number of active cases in the Flin Flon, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Sherridan district is reported to be 14. An outbreak has been declared over at St. Anthony’s General Hospital ACIU unit in The Pas. Of the total 35,213 reported cases 1312 cases are active and 32,952 individuals have recovered.  As of Saturday the total number of variants of concern was 412.

             

Saskatchewan health reported 557 new cases on the weekend bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 249.  They also reported one additional death in the Central East zone.  Of the new cases 120 are in Regina and 78 in Saskatoon with lower numbers in other zones including two in Far North East.  Of the total 36,305 reported cases 2504 are considered active and 33,345 people have recovered. As of Saturday 3271 variants of concern have been detected with larger numbers in Regina with 2271, 310 in South East, 286 in South Central and 171 in Saskatoon with lower number in other zones including one in Far North East.

 

A Record Was Set For Daily Vaccine Doses in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan health reported 358 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the seven day average of daily new cases to 242. They also reported six additional deaths with four in Regina and one each in Saskatoon and South East zone.  Of the new cases 108 are in Regina, 64 in Saskatoon, 63 in South East and 30 in North West with lower numbers in other zones. As of Thursday 3086 variants of concern have been identified with the largest numbers in Regina with 2189, South East 283, South Central 266 with much lower numbers in other zones.  Of the total 35,748 reported COVID cases 2337 are considered active and 32,959 people have recovered.

             

An additional 11,634 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given which is the highest number of daily doses administered to date. A total of 256,280 vaccines have now been administered in Saskatchewan.

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