COVID-19 Update-May 12

Situation Update

One new case of COVID-19 was identified today, bringing Manitoba’s total to 290. Only 32 cases remain active, including four in hospital with one in ICU. Cadham Lab has performed 31,440 tests to date. Review today’s public health bulletin for more information.

The Prime Minister suggested that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – which pays up to 75% of employee wages up to the EI maximum – will be extended past June 6, 2020. More details are expected this week on how long the extension will run for. We will keep you informed. This benefit is designed to help keep employees on the payroll and some physician practices may qualify. You can always review our guide for physician employers for more information and advice.

The federal government announced seniors will receive a one-time payment of up to $500, recognizing the added costs related to the pandemic such as increased drug dispensing fees, grocery delivery costs, and transportation. The federal seniors pandemic benefit will piggy back on OAS and GIS eligibility, with OAS recipients received a $300 payment and GIS recipients receiving an additional $200. This targets the benefit to lower income seniors. A Manitoba seniors benefit was announced earlier this month that will provide all seniors $200 regardless of income level.

Provincially, the Premier announced a boost in funding for green team projects, which supports non-profits and municipal governments to hire youth and young adults to work on community projects over the summer.

COVID Screening and Testing

A reminder that COVID-19 testing is now open to all symptomatic Manitobans, regardless of other risk factors like travel, contact history, or work setting. Physicians can refer patients for testing directly, or patients can be directed to the Shared Health screening tool or Health Links for further advice. The symptom list and testing clinic locations can be viewed here.

The WRHA has also introduced a mobile testing option for patients who cannot attend a testing site for medical reasons, as well as a transportation plan for people who cannot make it to testing sites on their own. Physicians can request these services for their patients. For more information, review:

Trust in Physicians is Up

Before the pandemic, doctors were already among the most trusted profession in the country. The annual CanTrust survey in January found 76% of Canadians trust medical doctors. The survey was repeated in early May to see how trust has been affected by COVID-19, and it found that trust in physicians increased to 87%. The pollster explained this is likely due to Canadians now seeing doctors on the news providing advice and guiding us all through pandemic.

You can read more about the survey and its findings in a recent CBC article.

A week of celebrations

Today is Manitoba’s 150th birthday. While Doctors Manitoba may be a young 112 years old by comparison, physicians have been an integral part since its founding. While most of the planned celebrations are postponed due to COVID-19, the Snowbirds did a flyover which you can watch online.

It’s also National Nurses Week and Shared Health has launched an appreciation campaign and video for all health care heroes, including physicians. They have asked us to pass on the their appreciation and thank you for your dedication, understanding and patience as Shared Health continues to learn and adapt to changing evidence and information about the virus.