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COVID-19 - Manitoba examining possible new penalties for not distancing

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: April 7, 2020 08:02

Also the latest on masks, grocery stores, benefit applications, and meals for truckers

Image: File

Manitoba is now reporting 204 COVID-19 cases, an increase of one. 

Health officials say as of April 3rd - 11 people are in hospital, 7 in the ICU, 17 have recovered and there have been two deaths.

Across the country - 339 people have died, with the most in Ontario and Quebec at 150 and 121 respectively.

In Manitoba - those aged 20 to 29 have been identified with the most probable and confirmed cases.


For some, the message of "stay home" to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is not getting through, and the province is looking at bringing in tougher penalties.

Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin says this is quite literally about saving lives.

Premier Brian Pallister says new measures could include actively enforcing orders - including levelling fines.

By the way, if you see people breaking the rules - police say don't call 9-1-1. They say reporting people not social distancing is not an emergency from a law enforcement stand-point - at least not right now. 


Health officials have been saying that non-medical masks may not protect you, but they're now saying they could protect those around you.

We know people with symptoms of COVID-19 can give it to others - but experts say those who exhibit no symptoms of the virus, can also spread it around.

Manitoba's Dr. Brent Roussin says if you plan on using a cloth mask - clean them frequently, be careful not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes with them - and clean your hands often.


If you've been trying to keep your distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19, that plan may be over once you enter a supermarket.

Brandon grocery stores like Sobey's and Safeway have strict rules in place - such as one person to a cart, hand-sanitizing and arrows on the floor to follow.

Superstore has marked off the check-out, but it's still basically a free-for-all through the store.

Some grocery store workers in Manitoba have said they fear bringing the virus home to their families.


Truckers continue to work the front-line during the pandemic - bringing in the goods we need. 

With so many restaurants closed, it's been tough finding a meal on the road, but in Brandon - Boston Pizza has stepped up.

Bridgette Janz, who manages Boston Pizza North, says any trucker who comes by or through town is going to get a meal valued up to $20.00.

She says Boston will serve up free trucker meals until Friday.

And Brandon's Tina and Friends Trucker Food Stop is also offering to feed truckers during the pandemic.   

For a meal, truck drivers can call or text Tina at 204-720-6349. Volunteers will keep their distance while dropping off the food.


In the first few hours of the federal government's new COVID-19 Emergency Benefit application process, more than 300,000 people applied. 

If you've lost your job because of the pandemic, and you get approved, it'll provide $2,000 a month for four months.

As for Employment Insurance - the government says it received 2.5 million requests in the past two weeks - and has processed 2.1-million.


If you're stuck inside the house - and have made sorting through your closets a 'pandemic project' - maybe hang onto those old clothes a little while longer. 

Groups like Diabetes Canada have temporarily stopped picking up old clothes at their donation sites - and that's caused a problem.

In an open letter - they say some donation bin locations are overflowing with clothes - and some people are even dumping garbage onto the piles creating a health hazard. 

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