COVID-19 Update-June 29

Situation Update

Since our last update on Thursday, there have been eight additional cases identified, including two today. This brings the total count in Manitoba to 324, with 17 listed as active and none in hospital or ICU. You can review more in today’s public health bulletin.

On Friday, a series of new public health orders were issued that remove restrictions on travel to northern Manitoba, permit individuals self-isolating under a federal or provincial order to visit family or friends with life-threatening conditions, and remove the self-isolation requirement for people coming to Manitoba to work on film production.

Canada has now reported over 105,000 cases and over 8,600 deaths. Globally, we have passed a grim milestone with more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths reported, though the true total is likely much higher. There have been over 10 million cases identified worldwide.

The head of the World Health Organization offered a stark reminder today about COVID-19: “The hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up.” Indeed, in some US states, reopening plans are being slowed or even reversed after seeing a surge in new cases.

New Webinar: Pandemic Financial Insights

Join Doctors Manitoba and MD Financial Management for a live webinar on July 14 covering a variety of financial-related, physician-focused topics to help strengthen your resilience from the impacts of the pandemic.

The webinar will include the following topics:

  • Overview of federal and provincial pandemic response benefit programs (MNP LLP)
  • Financial market update (MD Financial)
  • Financial planning considerations (MD Financial)
  • Billing and advocacy update (Doctors Manitoba)

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

Please register in advance to participate. There will be time for member questions to the expert panel.

If you have suggestions for other webinar topics, please contact us at covid19@doctorsmanitoba.ca

In-Person Visits

Last week, we sent a notice to community-based physicians about increasing in-person visits. A reminder that with lower COVID-19 case counts, now is a good time to catch up on annual physicals, immunizations, preventive care and other visits requiring physical examination that have been on hold in your practice due to the pandemic.

It’s important to follow public health advice in your clinic and use appropriate PPE to protect yourself and your patients. Guidance on this was included in the original notice last week.

Several hospital-based physicians have also asked about increasing in-person visits in outpatient clinics. We have been seeking clarity on this from health system officials and we will report back when we get definitive direction. In the meantime, we continue to recommend that physicians raise their concerns with the medical director so they can be escalated internally.

Thank You, Doctors!

We recently received a letter in our office addressed to “all the doctors in Manitoba” from Ella, a child living in Winnipeg.

Ella expresses how thankful she is that physicians are still going to work, “to help the people with the virus” and “the people without the virus.” You can view the full, hand-written letter here.

We think Ella is on to something. It is certainly important to care for people with COVID-19, but it’s important to also care for people who have other medical concerns, to help them to stay healthy too. There has been a lot of emerging research and media coverage about the pandemic causing delays in caring for other medical issues. A recent article in CMAJ highlighted the impacts the pandemic can have on children like Ella, and the importance of continued access to care during the pandemic response and recovery.

This is why Doctors Manitoba has been running an extension of our “Don’t Put Your Health on Hold” campaign this month, to raise public awareness about staying on top of their medical needs by calling their doctor. The most recent ads have focused on busting myths about why people have delayed care, such as perceiving that clinics are risky to visit or that their health isn’t a priority right now. Our June campaign has had over 2.4 million views on social media, Google search results and ads on variety of popular websites.

If you haven’t already, check out our campaign tools and consider incorporating them into your practice. This includes letters to patients, signage for your clinic, and images for your website and social media.