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April 1, 2020
 
New information
 
Number of cases: 103 (confirmed and presumptive) as of Tuesday March 31
 
Spring road restrictions
Under newly revised spring road restrictions, a vehicle may transport essential commodities at normal loading on highways that are subject to Level 1 road restrictions. Additionally, essential commodities may be transported at normal loading on roads subject to Level 2 restrictions, under conditions. Essential commodities include groceries, medical supplies, fuel, fertilizer, bulk milk, potable water for non-industrial use, emergency equipment and materials, and mail delivery on.  It also includes livestock and livestock feed in transit, and hay for feed in transit within Manitoba. For the 2020 Spring Road Restrictions season, a permit is not required to transport grain to satisfy grain quotas or contracts, or to transport potatoes or vegetables from producer to processor, and these commodities are eligible for the normal loading. Click here to read the full announcement.
 
Webinar on managing workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
KAP has partnered with the Canadian Agricultural HR Council (CAHRC) to share information and answer your questions about managing workers in agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be shared through a half hour webinar this Friday Apr 3 at 1:00 PM CDT. Click here to register for this webinar. Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
Manitoba flood outlook
The second Spring Thaw Outlook of 2020 reports the Assiniboine River basin and other rivers are expected to remain mostly in-bank, with possible over-bank high water covering agricultural land at a few locations. Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre reports with favourable conditions, water levels similar to the spring of 2019 are expected.  Last year, the Red River Floodway was put into service but Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 75 from Winnipeg south to Emerson remained open. Average weather conditions in spring 2020 would result in water levels similar to 2006 on the Red River, according to forecasters.  In that year, PTH 75 was closed for 18 days. Unfavourable weather could lead to a run-off nearing 2011 levels.  In 2011, PTH 75 was closed for 28 days. Click here to read the full flood outlook.
 
PPE drop-off locations
KAP is encouraging all producers with personal protective equipment that is not required for spring work to donate to the Manitoba health system. As Manitoba’s health system continues with preparations to ensure our province is prepared to meet the needs of our patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health care workers, donations of the following supplies are now welcome and greatly appreciated. Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in useable condition. Expired supplies are not able to be accepted. Drop-off locations exist across Manitoba in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Winkler and Steinbach. Click here for detailed locations for drop-off and donation requirements.
 
Guidance for slaughter and processing facilities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has published new guidance for both slaughter and processing facilities, including establishment requirements, procedures for operators, and mitigation efforts for COVID-19. Click here to read the full guidance.
 
Manitoba K-12 classes suspended indefinitely
Manitoba Education has announced that classes across the province are suspended indefinitely. Public health will determine if and when it is safe to reopen schools prior to the end of the school year in June. No student will be held back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but students must actively engage in learning.  All students on track to graduate will do so.  Teachers will teach remotely, assign work, conduct assessments and prepare final report cards.  For students in Grade 12, provincial exams will be cancelled, but teacher assessments will be implemented.  For students in early and middle years, provincial assessments are complete for the current school year, but other assessments will continue. Click here to view more information from Manitoba Education.
 
Kids and COVID-19
Shared Health and the Manitoba Government have partnered to host an interactive YouTube program to answer kids’ questions about COVID-19. Tune in live to have these – and other – questions answered by health care professionals. Featuring Lanette Siragusa and Dr. William Li. Watch live: youtube.com/ManitobaGovernment. Send in your questions to covidquestions@sharedhealthmb.ca (Include your name, grade, school, and teacher’s name for extra credit!)
 
CFA farm level survey
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is running a weekly survey to identify potential issues throughout the industry. The survey closes on Thursday, and the results are used in weekly calls with the federal Minister of Agriculture. To take the survey, click here.
 
Risk-informed decision making
The federal government has developed a document for workplaces to consider risks associated with COVID-19, including the implementation of risk mitigation strategies and what changes may be needed to make essential workplaces safer. Click here to access this resource.
 
Public Safety Canada survey
Public Safety Canada is conducting a survey to better understand where shortages exist for industry when it comes to personal protective equipment and sanitation products. Click here to take the survey.
 
Guidelines for handling goods and packages
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters has developed two resources for those expecting deliveries of goods and products. Click here for best practices on handling shipments, and click here for best practices on how to use disinfectants.
 
Health-related information

 
COVID-19 pandemic
Manitobans are reminded to call Health Links (1-888-315-9257) should you believe you have come into contact with COVID-19. You do not need to be tested if you are not experiencing symptoms. At this time, Manitobans are best served by listening to public health professionals, enacting social distancing protocols, ensuring that handwashing is taking place regularly, and ensuring that adequate supplies are on-hand without hoarding or over purchasing. We will all get through this together.
 
Mental health during COVID-19
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has put together a useful resource on how to process significant changes to your daily life and how to deal with your mental health during this time. Click here to access those tools and resources. The Farm, Rural, and Northern Support Services Line is available by phone at 1-866-367-3276. Manitobans struggling with anxiety can call the Never Give Up Manitoba support line at 204-925-0040 between the hours of 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on weekends.
 
Screening tool
Shared Health’s online screening tool is available and is the recommended first step that Manitobans should take prior to calling Health Links or attempting to visit a doctor’s office. Click here to access the online screening tool.
 
Testing facilities
A reminder that all testing facilities are to be accessed by referral from Health Links and are not walk-in clinics. The provincial government has announced more rural testing sites will be open in the coming days. Testing facilities at this time are:
 
Town Facility Address Hours of Operation
Winnipeg Access Fort Garry 135 Plaza Drive Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM;
Weekends, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Access Winnipeg West 280 Booth Drive
 Access Transcona 845 Regent Ave West
Mount Carmel Clinic 886 Main Street
Thompson Thompson Clinic Plaza Mall Daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Flin Flon Channing Auditorium 2 North Avenue
The Pas Royal Canadian Legion 4 Veterans Way
Brandon Brandon Regional Health Centre, Nurses' Residence Gym 150 McTavish Ave E Daily 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Selkirk Drive-Thru Community Testing Site 622 Superior Ave Daily 9:00AM to 4:00PM
Steinbach Drive-Thru Community Testing Site 365 Reimer Ave Daily 9:00AM to 3:00PM
Winnipeg Drive-Thru Community Testing Site 15 Barnes St. Daily 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Winkler Drive-Thru Community Testing Site 600 Park St. Daily 9:00AM to 3:00PM
Portage Drive-Thru Community Testing Site Stride Centre, 245 Royal Rd. Daily 9:00AM to 3:00PM
Eriksdale Drive-Thru Community Testing Stie 35 Railway Ave Daily 10:00AM to 3:00PM
Pine Falls École Powerview School 33 Vincent St Monday to Friday, 9:00AM to 4:00PM
Dauphin Drive-Thru Community Testing Site 217 Industrial Rd Daily 10:00AM to 3:00PM
 
Help Next Door MB
The Manitoba government and North Forge MB have partnered to release Help Next Door MB, a tool to put those in need of assistance with volunteers across the province while adhering to social distancing protocols. The tool allows Manitobans to register to be volunteers or to register need for assistance and needs range of things like needing help to get groceries or pick up medication, computer troubleshooting, or chores around the house. To learn more or to register, click here.
 
Industry-specific information
 
Provincial closure of non-essential businesses
The Manitoba government has issued a new public health order, effective 12:01am April 1, which will restrict the operation of non-essential businesses. Click here to view the entire schedule of restrictions and exemptions. In terms of the agriculture industry, the following exemptions are in place: 
Agriculture and food production
  • A business that is engaged in farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, producing or distributing food or farm products such as crops, animal products and by-products or beverages.
  • A business that is engaged in fishing, hunting or aquaculture.
  • A business that supports the food supply chain, including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal processing plants and grain elevators.
  • A business that supplies agricultural producers with necessary products or services, such as seed, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, agricultural equipment, custom application of herbicides and pesticides and the repair of agricultural equipment.
  • A business that supports the safety of food, including animal and plant health and animal well-being.
  • A business that provides veterinary services or that supplies veterinary or animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits.
  • A business involved in ensuring the safe and effective management of animal waste, and includes a business responsible for the disposal of dead animals, rendering, nutrient management and biohazardous materials treatment or disposal.
 
Federal wage subsidy program
The federal government has announced a wage subsidy program for all businesses regardless of size. This will subsidize up to 75 per cent for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales and will be shared before the end of the month.
 
Agriculture and Resource Development offices
To help manage and minimize the spread of COVID-19, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development offices are now closed to unscheduled drop-in services. For those requiring in-person service, call your local office to schedule an appointment. Telephone and internet services remain available at 1-844-769-6224 or by visiting manitoba.ca/agriculture.
 
Guidance for employers of temporary foreign workers
New guidance has been issued for the employers of temporary foreign workers. Click here to access these guidelines. These measures include:
  • mandatory 14-day self-isolation periods, during which workers cannot work.
  • accommodations that allow for self-isolation, including 2-meter social distancing allowances.
  • links for documents to work in workers’ accommodations; and
  • employers’ duties in monitoring workers health and reporting symptomatic workers.
 
KAP COVID response page
KAP has developed a COVID-19 response page on our website, including helpful links and messages from the daily Alert. Click here to visit the page.
 
Manitoba checkpoints
The Manitoba government is establishing five highway checkpoints to provide information to travelers about required public health measures in place regarding COVID-19. Travelers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally. Checkpoints will be located on Hwy 1 at West Hawk Lake and on Hwy 1 west of Kirkella, PTH 16 west of Russell, PTH 5W west of Roblin and PTH 2 west of Reston/Souris. No traveler will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations.
 
GST and duties deferral
The federal government has announced that small business owners and self-employed individuals can defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. Click here to access more information on this announcement.
 
Temporary changes to Manitoba employment standards
Under current employment standards legislation, employees who have been laid off for eight or more weeks in a 16-week period are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to wages in lieu of notice. The province is making temporary amendments that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.
 
On-farm sanitation factsheet
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we all must implement safety and sanitation protocols in our daily lives, and our farms need protocols as well. As preparations are made for the spring planting season, it is imperative that producers and staff practice appropriate sanitation.
The Manitoba Farm Safety Program and Keystone Agricultural Producers have developed a list of best practices to consider for on-farm sanitation as we approach the spring season. We will continue to update this list as more information becomes available from Manitoba Health and other public health agencies. To view the factsheet, click here.
 
Jobs in the agricultural sector
Given that many Canadians have been laid off from their jobs and that there is still some uncertainty as to how the federal government is working to bring seasonal workers into the country, we are encouraging employers in our sector to post jobs on three sites:
We will begin to promote these sites on social media in effort to reach out beyond our industry. Our hope is that we can match job seekers with employers as we approach the busy spring season.
 

 
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