COVID-19
BULLETIN #34

Public health officials advise 25 additional probable cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 64 at this time.  Total number of deaths reported in Manitoba remains at one.

Public health investigations are underway to determine additional details and to confirm the possible exposure of this/these case/cases.

The public is reminded that under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place, effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30:
•    Public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises.  This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.  This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters.  
•    Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.  
•    Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres.

Other restrictions first introduced in a public health order issued on March 20 remain in effect.

Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel.  This includes international travel and travel within Canada.  There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel.  In addition, public health officials recommended that effective March 23, anyone returning from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.

This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods and services;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
•    normal personal travel in border communities, including visits to a cottage.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

A community testing site will open Monday, March 30 in Pine Falls at École Powerview School, 33 Vincent St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.  This brings the total to 15 community testing sites including six drive-thru locations.  The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics.  Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Moving forward, the province will continue to share updates on the total number of cases but additional patient information such as gender, age and the regional health authority where they reside will be provided online once it is confirmed through public health investigation.  The province is also working to provide an additional breakdown of information online, including the number of hospitalizations, home recovery, and cases that are resolved.  This reporting is in line with reporting in other jurisdictions and ensures consistent, accurate data is available to the public.

Information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel is updated at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/flights.html as information becomes available.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.



Gatherings will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people in Manitoba due to the COVID-19 pandemic, down from 50, starting on Monday, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced Friday morning. 

The restriction applies to indoor and outdoor premises, family gatherings, places of worship and events such as weddings and funerals, Roussin said. 

The change does not apply to places where social services and/or health care are provided, homeless shelters, or workplaces. But, Roussin said workplaces should ensure physical distancing measures are in place, that employees can wash their hands frequently, and that employees can work from home when possible. 

Retail businesses, including grocery stores, will also need to continue to ensure customers are one to two metres apart at all times, Roussin said. 

Community transmission is “inevitable” in Manitoba, but reducing the maximum gathering size will mitigate that, he said. 

“This is just one tool available to us to heighten that sense of urgency.”

A report from the Public Health Agency of Canada found that as of Tuesday, more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Canada were caused by community transmission. 

Of the 1,352 cases that the Public Health Agency of Canada had provided epidemiological data on up to that point, 53 per cent were a result of infection from community transmission, while 44 per cent were tied to travellers and people who came into close contact with a traveller who tested positive.

Roussin said Manitoba has been ahead of the game in implementing physical distancing strategies such as closing schools and limiting public gatherings. He pointed out that in some other jurisdictions, those measures weren’t taken until there was evidence of sustained community transmission of COVID-19. 


Latest local news


The announcement comes the same day Roussin announced the first death of a Manitoban from COVID-19: a woman in her 60s who was in intensive care.

Three additional probable cases of the coronavirus were also announced Friday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable cases in Manitoba to 39.

Public health investigations are underway to determine more details and which other people may have been exposed.

Health inspectors ensuring compliance 

In “extreme cases,” the 10-person rule can be enforced under provincial law, Roussin said. Thus far, public health inspectors have been in businesses to ensure they’re complying with physical distancing rules enacted by the province, he said. 

Roussin also said the province is considering using peace officers to enforce these rules. 

Still, the new limitations on public gatherings are not about collecting fines, Roussin said.

“This is about Manitobans realizing that now is the time for action,” he said. 

“We know a lot of people are going through some rough times because of this, but it’s for the health of all Manitobans.”

With files from Adam Miller and Amina Zafar


March 27, 2020

MANITOBA ESTABLISHING CHECKPOINTS TO INFORM TRAVELLERS
ABOUT COVID-19

– – –

Help Keep Our Communities
Safe:  Ministers

The Manitoba government will establish five highway checkpoints and provide information in airports to help inform travellers about the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“We must do everything we can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on our health-care system,” said Cullen.  “This approach will help ensure travellers know they must self-isolate, what the province’s state of emergency means to them and other important public health information.  By being informed, we can reduce the risk to Manitobans and help keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Travellers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally.  If Manitobans need assistance with groceries, prescription pickup and other services, they are encouraged to go to www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca

Cullen noted this kind of proactive measure to inform travellers and help slow the spread of COVID-19 is critical.  

Checkpoints will be located at the:
•    Ontario border:
     –  Trans-Canada Highway East (West Hawk Lake/Falcon Lake);
•    Saskatchewan border:
     – Trans-Canada Highway West (west of Kirkella/Elkhorn/Virden);
     – PTH 16 (west of Russell);
     – PTH 5W (west of Roblin); and
     – PTH 2 (west of Sinclair/Reston/Souris).

“We expect these checkpoints to be operational this week, staffed by provincial employees,” said Schuler.  “Drivers can expect to see roadside signage to help direct them to the checkpoints and support traffic safety.”

These checkpoints are established under the authority of The Public Health Act.  No one will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations.

Signage will also be placed at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and the Brandon Municipal Airport to ensure people arriving on domestic flights have similar information.

The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols including practising following the 3P’s – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.  For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Effective March 23, public health officials recommended anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return. This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
•    normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.


COVID-19
BULLETIN #33

Public health officials advise three additional probable cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 39 at this time.  Manitoba has also recorded its first patient death.  Patient specific details are not being released at this time.

Public health investigations are underway to determine additional details and to confirm the possible exposure of this/these case/cases.

As authorized under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place, effective
12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30.  Public gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises.  This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.  This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters.  Retail businesses including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business.  Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres.

Other restrictions first introduced in a public health order issued on March 20 remain in effect.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 606 tests on Thursday.  As of March 26, a total of 6,203 tests have been performed.

Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel.  This includes international travel and travel within Canada.  There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel.  In addition, public health officials recommended that effective March 23, anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.

This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods and services;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
•    normal personal travel in border communities, including visits to a cottage.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Additional drive-thru community testing sites opened today in Eriksdale at the Eriksdale Wellness Centre, 35 Railway Ave., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and in Portage la Prairie at the Stride Centre, 245 Royal Rd., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.  A community testing site will open Monday, March 30 in Pine Falls at École Powerview School, 33 Vincent St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The community testing site in The Pas has relocated to the Royal Canadian Legion at 4 Veterans Way and will continue to be open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This will brings the total to 15 community testing sites including six drive-thru locations.  The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics.  Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

Moving forward, the province will continue to share updates on the total number of cases but additional patient information such as gender, age, and the regional health authority where they reside will be provided online once it is confirmed through public health investigation.  The province is also working to provide an additional breakdown of information online including the number of hospitalizations, home recovery and cases that are resolved.  This reporting is in line with reporting in other jurisdictions and ensures consistent, accurate data is available to the public.

Information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel is updated at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/flights.html as information becomes available.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.



March 27, 2020
PROVINCE LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO HELP MANITOBANS COPE
WITH ANXIETY RELATED TO COVID-19
– – –
$4.5-Million Investment in Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program Will Support Manitobans During Pandemic: Pallister
The Manitoba government is investing in the mental health of Manitobans by introducing a program to help address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Pandemics bring about a high level of stress and anxiety, and the health and well-being of Manitobans continues to be our priority during this uncertain time,” said Pallister. “Many of us are feeling concerns over whether we will get sick, the health of our families, the security of our jobs, being isolated from our loved ones and many other variables. As part of our emergency response to COVID-19, we are introducing an easily accessible virtual option to help support Manitobans.”

To help Manitobans experiencing mild to moderate anxiety due to COVID-19, the province is partnering with Morneau Shepell, Canada’s leading provider of technology-enabled HR services, to launch an internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) program free of charge to all Manitobans 16 years old and over. The province will spend $4.5 million to provide these services to Manitobans for up to a year.

Morneau Shepell launched this digital therapy program last week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. T he new program is guided by professional therapists and addresses anxiety symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics: uncertainty, physical isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management.

“We know many Canadians are struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their mental health,” said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions at Morneau Shepell. “With the requirements to self-isolate and practice physical distancing, we are offering a convenient, digital program that can be accessed with any smartphone or tablet. Our goal is to facilitate access and provide support to as many people as possible across the country.”

Morneau Shepell’s national network includes thousands of therapists experienced in dealing with the psychological impact of various traumatic events. Program participants also have access to live crisis counsellors who are available 24-7 if any risk of harm or crisis is identified.

The program will be available in English and French in the coming weeks at www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

 

March 26, 2020

COVID-19
BULLETIN #32

Public health officials advise one additional probable case of COVID-19 has been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 36 at this time.

Case information includes case 37 is a man in his 20s who lives in Winnipeg.

Public health investigations are underway to determine additional details and to confirm the possible exposure of this case.  Information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel is updated as information becomes available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/flights.html.

Public health officials advise that case numbers and the total number of cases are different because one case was retested and was found to be negative.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 734 tests on Wednesday, March 25, up from the day before when 352 tests were completed.  As of March 25, a total of 5,606 tests have been performed.

Public health officials are expanding testing criteria to include the following groups of people at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 and are showing respiratory symptoms:
•    Health-care workers; and
•    individuals who live/work in a remote or isolated community or a group setting, such as a correctional facility, shelter, long- term care or residential facility, or a remote work camp.

Symptomatic travellers outside of Manitoba, close contacts of a confirmed case, and lab workers who have worked with COVID-19 tests will continue to be tested.

Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel.  This includes international travel and travel within Canada.  There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel.  In addition, public health officials recommended that effective March 23, anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.

This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods and services;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health-care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
•    normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Additional community test sites will officially open Friday, March 27 in Eriksdale at the Eriksdale Wellness Centre, 35 Railway Ave. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and in Pine Falls at the École Powerview School, 33 Vincent St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  The community testing site in The Pas has been relocated to the Wescana Inn at 439 Fischer Ave. and will continue to be open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  There are now 12 community testing sites including four drive-thru locations.  The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics.  Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.


14 new cases bringing the total to 35.
PLEASE STAY HOME.
IF YOU DON’T LIVE WITH THEM DON’T VISIT THEM!

COVID-19
BULLETIN #31
Public health officials advise 14 additional probable cases of COVID-19 have been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 35 at this time.

Case information includes:
• case 23 is a woman in her 30s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 24 is a girl under the age of 10 who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 25 is a woman in her 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 26 is a man in his 30s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 27 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 28 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg and receiving treatment in intensive care in hospital,
• case 29 is a man in his 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 30 is a woman in her 30s who lives in a community in the area of the Southern Health Santé Sud health region,
• case 31 is a woman in her 40s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 32 is a man in his 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 33 is a woman in her 60s who lives in Winnipeg,
• case 34 is a woman in her 50s who lives in a community in the Southern Health Santé Sud health region,
• case 35 is a woman in her 20s who lives in Winnipeg, and
• case 36 is an individual who was tested in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

Public health investigations are underway to determine additional details and to confirm the possible exposure of these cases. Information about flights where a person with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 had symptoms at the time of travel is updated as information becomes available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/flights.html.

Public health officials advise that case numbers and the total number of cases are different because one case was retested and was found to be negative.

Also note that a probable case previously reported on March 23 of a man in his 50s who lives in Winnipeg with a history of travel should be referenced as case 21. In addition, a probable case previously reported on March 24 of a man in his 40s who lives in Winnipeg with a travel history under investigation should be referenced as case 22.

Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel. This includes international travel and travel within Canada. There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel. In addition, public health officials recommended that effective March 23, anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.

This recommendation does not include:
• the commercial transportation of goods and services;
• workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
• health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
• normal personal travel in border communities, including visits to a cottage.

Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

In recognition of the current challenges, the province will defer any increases to the Manitoba Pharmacare deductible that were scheduled to take effect April 1. The deductible will still come into effect on April 1, but will remain at 2019-20 levels throughout 2020-21 to assist Manitobans with supply limits imposed on pharmacies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manitobans are reminded that pharmacies have been asked to limit individuals to a 30-day supply of medication. All Canadian provinces have taken this step to prevent hoarding and ensure there is a consistent supply of medications.

A new community testing drive-thru site officially opened today in Winkler, at the Winkler Centennial Arena at 600 Park St. Hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are now 12 community testing sites including four drive-thru locations. The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit:
www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

COVID-19
BULLETIN #31

COVID-19 IN MANITOBA

Manitoba has implemented a number of changes to better protect the health of Manitobans. They include:
• declaring a state of emergency in Manitoba;
• issuing public health orders to:
 limit public gathering to less than 50 people including places of worship, family event, wedding and funerals;
 require retailers to ensure separation of two metres between patrons in their facility;
 limit hospitality premises such as restaurants or theatres to 50 people or 50 per cent of capacity (whichever is less);
 immediate closures of bingo and gaming centres, as well as wellness centres such as gyms and fitness centres; and
 recommending cancellation of domestic or international travel.
• suspending services at licensed child-care centres effective at end-of-day March 20 to
April 10;
• working to create dedicated child-care options for front-line and essential service staff;
• suspending classes in Manitoba kindergarten to Grade 12 schools effective March 23 to April 10;
• closing casinos;
• recommending the immediate suspension of visitors in long-term care facilities across Manitoba with exceptions for compassionate reasons;
• visitor access at all Manitoba hospitals has been suspended, with exceptions for compassionate reasons made on a case-by-case basis;
• for labour and delivery as well as pediatric patients, one visitor is allowed, with stringent screening in place;
• suspending elective (non-urgent) surgical procedures;
• postponing surgeries for patients who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and patients will be contacted directly if their surgery is affected;
• postponing non-essential and routine diagnostic testing including laboratory, imaging and non-invasive cardiac services;
• limiting prescription renewals to a 30-day supply;
…2/
– 2 –

• consolidating two CancerCare Manitoba clinics into one location at Victoria General Hospital Cancer Clinic;
• suspending BreastCheck breast cancer screening services at CancerCare Manitoba for at least two weeks effective March 19;
• suspending adult day programs and similar programming located within long-term care or personal care facilities;
• suspending congregate meal services for Support Services to Seniors program;
• developing virtual visit and virtual care psychotherapy options to supplement traditional models of care including video-conferencing options;
• suspending day programs through Community Living disABILITY Services for adults with intellectual disabilities, with exceptions for exceptional cases;
• asking Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) clients to contact staff through the call centre whenever possible to follow public health recommendations on public distancing;
• cancelling all planned interpreter-led events and closing interpretive centres until further notice in Manitoba parks;
• developing a new self-assessment tool, which is now online to help Manitobans determine whether they need to call Health Links–Info Santé to get a referral for testing or to self-isolate;
• implementing community screening locations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba where people can be screened and tested for COVID-19 after a referral from Health Links–Info Santé; and
• providing advice on social distancing measures for Manitobans.

Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel (domestic or international). In addition, public health officials are recommending all travellers should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after returning to Manitoba from international or other locations in Canada. Exceptions to this include:
• the commercial transportation of goods and services,
• workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
• health-care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
• normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.

…3/


– 3 –

Health officials are reminding physicians, health-care providers and support staff returning from domestic or international travel that they MUST self-identify to their organization/site’s occupational health services.

The online screening tool is now available in an interactive voice response (IVR) format. It is not a replacement for Health Links–Info Santé. It is specifically for Manitobans who prefer to complete the screening tool by phone rather than online.

The tool asks callers standard screening questions for COVID-19. If needed, it directs those who may require a conversation with a health-care professional to Health Links–Info Santé. People who want to self-screen can call (toll-free) 1-877-308-9038.

Community screening sites have opened across the province. These locations are not walk-in clinics. Patients must receive a referral prior to arriving at these sites. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, all Manitobans have a role to play in slowing its spread and minimizing its impact on the health-care system and in communities. Social distancing strategies for all Manitobans include:
• cancelling or postponing any large-scale events with more than 50 attendees;
• minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public;
• avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes;
• disinfecting frequently used surfaces;
• following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus; and
• avoiding travel, crowded places and events, especially if you are at higher risk.

People are encouraged to take common prevention measures including regular handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Make sure to dry hands thoroughly. Alternatively, people can use an alcohol-based hand cleanser if their hands are not visibly dirty.

People should also cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into their sleeve. Being prepared also means seeking official sources of information to ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information is being used.

…4/
– 4 –

Employers should review their business continuity plans and take steps to ensure employees can stay home when ill, without facing barriers such as the requirement for sick notes, and work from home if possible. Employers should also discontinue non-essential, work-related travel outside of Manitoba and encourage virtual meetings to reduce prolonged, close contact between individuals.

There have been reports of multiple phishing 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. Manitobans are advised not to provide any financial data, hang up on the caller and to report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501.

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living is also urging media to exercise caution in reporting information related to the evolving COVID-19 situation and to avoid hearsay or speculation, as this can spread misinformati



PROVINCE LAUNCHES ONLINE TOOL TO CONNECT VOLUNTEERS SAFELY
WITH MANITOBANS NEEDING ASSISTANCE

– – –

Made-in-Manitoba Website Application Demonstrates Teamwork,
Technological Innovation, Community Spirit:  Premier

The generosity and innovation of Manitobans to help those in need of assistance is displayed in the new web application www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca, Premier Brian Pallister announced today immediately after the online tool went live.

“This new online tool captures the spirit of our province, where Manitobans in communities across our province can always be counted on to step up to assist others who need help, especially in times of need,” said Pallister.  “The innovative tool, created by Manitobans for Manitobans, puts people all over the province who need assistance easily in contact with those nearby – while adhering to social distancing protocols – who want to help them.”

The premiers said www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca is an important initiative for the Manitoba government, safely matching volunteer and community support to needs for goods and services such as groceries, medication, snow-clearing and various other necessities. Residents in greatest need, such as the elderly, disabled and those at high risk of contracting COVID-19 during the current global pandemic, will find the application very useful, he noted.

Built by Manitobans for Manitobans, the provincewide online platform was quickly designed and developed by North Forge Technology Exchange, a non-profit and team-led Winnipeg technology organization, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  North Forge collaborated with others in the community, resulting in development of the app – the first online service of its kind in Canada – within five days.

“There are a lot of amazing people out there creating volunteer platforms, but we wanted to ensure that security and safety are embedded to protect our citizens”, Joelle Foster, CEO, North Forge Technology Exchange. “As such, we turned to our community of innovators and we are so pleased that software development partners like Permission Click and ID Fusion Software stepped up to collaborate with us and have built this tool in record time.”

The online tool www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca will be vital for requests ranging from home computer and data security assistance to prescription medication pickups and deliveries.  Manitobans can access www.HelpNextDoorMB.ca directly or via www.Manitoba.ca/COVID19.

“This is how Manitobans pull together, put their heads together and bring ideas to life to assist each other when help is needed,” said Pallister.  “Manitoba has been the home of hope for over 150 years, and we will continue to be the home of hope for generations to come.  We will get through this pandemic together.

The premier added the province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols, including practising following the 3P’s – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.


Neepawa Post office Hours