In today’s message you will find:

Situation Update

COVID-19 Surveillance

Since our last update on Wednesday, most COVID surveillance indicators have held steady or increased::

  • Daily cases up: Another 518 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, including 295 today. This brings the total case count in Manitoba to 38,729.
  • Test positivity steady: The five-day test positivity rate is 7.2%, down from 7.5%. It is 8.2% in Winnipeg, similar to 8.4% on Wednesday.
  • Active cases up: There are 2,375 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, up from our last report of 2,206.
  • Hospitalization steady: There are 149 people in hospital due to COVID-19, up from 148 on Monday. This includes 39 people in ICU, up from 37 on Monday.
  • Three new deaths related to COVID-19 were identified, including one reported today that was a variant of concern case. The total number of deaths is 974.

Dr. Jazz Atwal confirmed today that over 50% of new cases are variants of concern, primarily the B.1.1.7 variant originally discovered in the UK. Public Health is now treating all cases as variants of concern as they now dominate what is circulating in Manitoba. The total number of cases involving variants of concern has grown to 2,095, up 407 from Friday, with 830 of these cases still considered active. 

As Manitoba moves through its third wave, testing numbers have begun to increase steadily. Public health officials are reminding Manitobans that in most cases, they should only seek testing at a provincial test site if they are symptomatic, have been identified as a close contact or have been directed to be tested by public health. This will help ensure those who need to be tested can continue to access testing as easily as possible. 

Vaccine administration:

  • 36.7% of Manitoba adults (or 28.4% of all Manitobans) have received at least one dose, up from 34.7%.
  • More government-run mass immunization super sites will open soon. This includes Winnipeg (Leila Soccer Complex opening next week), Steinbach (opening May 18) and Dauphin (opening May 10). 

Over 18,000 doses of AstraZeneca were still reported as unused with medical clinics and pharmacies. This is likely an overestimation that reflects a lag in reporting. There is a perception that this is the slowest” avenue to administer vaccines, so it is vital that participating medical clinics and doctors:

  • Use their doses as quickly as possible, while still prioritizing patients you deem at highest risk
  • Submit inventory reports regularly. These are due every Thursday, but more frequent reporting is encouraged.
  • Submit billing claims within 48 hours of administration
  • Ensure all physicians submitting claims for vaccine administration are listed on your clinic application form. If more have joined, let Manitoba Health know by emailing covid@​gov.​mb.​ca. They use the claims submissions to help monitor clinic inventory. 

Vaccine Eligibility — The Latest Changes

The government expanded vaccine eligibility today. This includes a number of groups.

In medical clinics and pharmacies, eligibility for AstraZeneca was expanded to include individuals age 30 – 39 with high risk medical conditions. The list of conditions is similar to earlier eligibility and can be found online. Individuals age 40 and up are still eligible for AstraZeneca, regardless of medical condition.

The same eligibility will apply to Johnson & Johnson doses, which are expected to arrive next week. Manitoba will only receive about 11,000 doses and all 500 participating clinics and pharmacies have been asked to order. The eligibility for Johnson & Johnson could change next week when NACI is expected to provide eligibility recommendations for this vaccine.

At government-run clinics, the following are now eligible:

  • Pregnant women age 18 and up (responding to growing evidence of the risks COVID-19 infections pose to pregnant women)
  • Those working in a vaccine warehouse
  • Those working in any health care setting (previously not all settings were eligible)
  • Clients receiving Community Living disABILITY services (clients should contact their community service worker)

You can view the current eligibility on our Man​i​to​baVac​cine​.ca public vaccine resource site.

Webinar on Vaccine Effectiveness and Extended Dose Intervals

Next week, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases are hosting another COVID-19 vaccine webinar. 

This moderated and live webinar includes a presentation and discussion on Extended Dose Intervals and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines, with live Q&A to inform health care and vaccine providers. 

Presentation highlights:

  • To provide a brief overview of NACI guidance in the context of public health decision making
  • To describe the efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in the context of one or two doses
  • To discuss the impacts of extended dose intervals of COVID-19 vaccines
  • To present the NACI recommendations on extended dose intervals

English Session:

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Moderator: April Killikelly, PhD, PHAC

Participants: Dr. Robyn Harrison, NACI; Dr. Jesse Papenburg, NACI; Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, PHAC; Austin Nam, PhD, PHAC; and Beate Sander, PhD, NACI

Register: Click here

French Session:

Friday, May 7, 2021
1:00pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Moderator: Lindsay Colas, PHAC

Participants: Dr. Jesse Papenburg, NACI; Dr. Robyn Harrison, NACI; Dr. Philippe De Wals, NACI

Register : Click here

Physician Recognition

Yesterday afternoon, Manitoba’s own Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov joined five other Canadian physicians as they were inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. A Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba, his publications have helped define standards of end-of-life care. Congratulations on being a pioneer in your field and an inspiration to young Manitobans pursuing careers in medicine, Dr. Chochinov. Watch the induction ceremony here.
The Manitoba College of Family Physicians announced their 2021 award recipients and congratulations are in order to ten very well-deserving physicians and to the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre.

The MCFP Awards of Excellence are a way for both the provincial and national colleges to recognize members who make notable contributions to one or more of the following: patient care, community service, teaching and research.
Dr. David Willems was awarded an MCFP Award of Excellence for his 27 years of service working with Winnipeg’s under-served in the city’s downtown community. A leader in HIV and addictions treatment and family medicine mentor, Dr. Willems is a passionate teacher and provides comprehensive care for complex patients. Congratulations, Dr. Willems.

The Artemis Group, consisting of eight family physicians who practice intrapartum obstetrics at St. Boniface Hospital, was recognized with an Award of Excellence for providing family and community-oriented option for patients and for ensuring residents have exposure to this important aspect of family medicine. Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Condon, Dr. Jacqueline Gougeon, Dr. Ming Munikar, Dr. Katherine Kearns, Dr. Kelby Cleverly, Dr. Chaitasi Intwala, Dr. Sandra Lee and Dr. Garielle Leung.

The Dr. Gary Beazley Patients Medical Home Award was created to recognize the impact of an outstanding leader in Family Medicine and was award to the Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre. The centre uses a holistic approach to care for their patients. The centres group of family physicians, community health workers, nurses, cultural advisors, social support workers, clinical psychologist, administrative staff and other allied health professionals use the Medicine Wheel to address the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well being of its patients. Congratulations to the team at the Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre!

Each year the MCFP recognizes an outstanding family physician who embodies the principles of family medicine. The Family Physician of the Year award is awarded to a community-based physician who is a skilled clinician, whose relationship with patients is central to their practice and who is a resource to a defined practice population. Having spent most of her career caring for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable populations, Dr. Christine Buchel was a natural choice for this year’s award. She works to encourage harm reduction and provides care for many of Winnipeg’s newcomers, women who are exploited, the trans and two-spirited community, those living with addiction and HIV, individuals who are homeless, and those who have experienced trauma. She was instrumental in re-creating the services at the Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Dr. Buchel! 

Doctors Manitoba 2021 Awards — Coming Next Week!

We are excited to unveil the 2021 winners of Doctors Manitoba’s awards next week!

Join us at our AGM on Thursday evening to be among the first to learn who is being recognized this year. We will still plan an awards gala this fall to celebrate in a more formal and fitting manner, but you won’t want to miss the unveiling of this very impressive group of honourees!

You can now register for the Doctors Manitoba AGM, which starts at 6PM on Thursday May 6, 2021. We also have a special keynote speaker, Dr. Tait Shanafelt, a global expert on physician wellness from Stanford University.
You can learn more about our keynote speaker and the AGM online. We will update this page with traditional AGM materials, including the agenda and other documents.

Tough Times

May 3 – 9 is Mental Health Awareness week in Canada. We are thirteen months into the pandemic and, while the vaccines have given us some hope, the light at the end of the tunnel does not seem to be in sight just yet. You may be battling some anxiety or depression, or perhaps you are languishing.’ Or one of your family members may need help getting through these difficult times.

Doctors Manitoba’s mandate is to strengthen and support the whole physician. So, when we launched the newDoctors Manitoba Website we made sure we dedicated a full and exhaustive section to Physician Health and Wellness. We highlight our Wellness Programs, provide Resources, and we recognize that every level and system shares a responsibility in physician health and wellness. If you are struggling, reach out. We are here. Every step of the way.

The Physician and Family Support Program is available to all members and their families. Call 1 – 844-4DOCSMB (4362762) | Guid​anceRe​sources​.com | Company ID: DOCSMB

Thank You for Super Site Coverage 

Thank you to over 150 physicians who are pitching in to help cover the new informed consent role in the Winnipeg vaccine super sites. At this time, no additional physicians are needed. We will provide an update in a future COVID email if more physicians are needed.