COVID-19 Update March 27

Situation Update

Manitoba has recorded its first death related to COVID-19. This was the patient who had been in critical condition in hospital. Three more cases were reported today, bringing the total to 39.

New containment measures were announced today under The Public Health Act, limiting the size of gatherings to no more than 10 people in any indoor or outdoor place or premises starting on Monday. This excludes facilities where health or social services are provided. 

Shared Health reported that Health Links has been enhanced with more lines to hopefully avoid any busy signals. Yesterday had a record number of calls, with wait times down to an average of 18 minutes. Individuals calling about COVID-19 should start with the online or automated phone screening tool.

A few changes to screening and testing were also announced. A new screening site will open in Pine Falls on Monday. Dynacare will now help with contacting patients who have tested negative. Test results should also be available through e-Chart. Cadham Lab has now tested over 6,200 Manitobans.

Outside of Manitoba, Canada has now recorded over 4,500 cases and over 50 deaths. The United States now has the most cases in the world, surpassing China where the curve has flattened, while Italy and Spain now lead in coronavirus deaths. COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic, and it’s vital to avoid any travel outside of Manitoba and to self-isolate after returning, as directed.

See today’s provincial bulletin for more information.

Doctors Manitoba Operations – Message from CEO Theresa Oswald

Effective Monday, Doctors Manitoba staff will now fully be working from home and our office will be closed. This follows expanded public health advice from Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.

We have already been trialing our business continuity plans, including working from home, with a number of staff. We are ready.  Appropriate technology and other preparations are in place.

How does this affect you, as a member? Quite simply, it should not.

We will continue to serve you, because now more than ever, we are here to support you during this challenging time.  We will continue to prioritize all pandemic-related inquiries and issues from you for rapid response. In fact, we have fielded over 500 inquiries from you since COVID-19 arrived in Manitoba just over two weeks ago. As you might expect, some of the more routine queries have been carefully logged, but work on them has paused until we find our way to the other side of this crisis together.  We are so grateful for your patience on this front.

You can continue to email us at covid19@doctorsmanitoba.ca for help or call our office at 204-985-5888 as you normally do. We may not answer immediately, but we will call you back promptly.

We will continue to send you short, concise updates on COVID-19, with topical resources to support you.

We will continue to advocate for you and negotiate on your behalf as this situation evolves.

Most of all, we will continue to appreciate you. It is our privilege to serve the physicians of this province, and that pride is stronger as each day goes by. You are protecting us, our families and our friends during a scary and stressful time. Having your back is the least we can do to say thank you.
With respect and gratitude,

Theresa Oswald
CEO

New Supports Coming for Small and Medium Businesses

The Prime Minister expanded pandemic supports for businesses to help keep staff on the payroll, including expanding a wage subsidy to 75%, up from 10%, and offering guaranteed interest-free loans of up to $40,000.

Late today, the provincial government announced changes to lay off rules to offer employers and workers more flexibility during the pandemic

More details will be available early next week, and we will update our guide for Physicians as Employers as information becomes available

Easier Web Resource for Physicians

We have launched a new COVID-19 page to help you to find the information you need on COVID-19. This includes information we have sent in earlier messages.

You will find quick facts and information guides we have created for you, including virtual care, advice on personal protective equipment, information on sick notes, links to resources from provincial authorities, and much more.

We will still send you regular COVID-19 email updates, but we wanted to make it easier for you to find our growing list of tips and resources.

Is Tomorrow Your Day Off?

If tomorrow is your weekend, take some time to recharge. Try to avoid consuming too much pandemic news. Focus on what helps you to recharge. If you are thinking about how to cope with what is coming next, review our checklist for physicians on Staying Well During the Pandemic.