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March 26, 2020 

New information

Number of cases: 35 (confirmed and presumptive) as of Wednesday March 25
 
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.
 
Prescription Safety Eyewear Program
We advise that you call ahead to any optometrists you may seek an appointment with at this time to discuss your appointment status and to discuss safety protocols in place for visits.
 
Pharmacare deductibles and medication information
In recognition of the current challenges, the Manitoba government will defer any increases to the Manitoba Pharmacare deductible that were scheduled to take effect April 1. The deductible will still come into effect on April 1 but will remain at 2019-20 levels throughout 2020-21 to assist Manitobans with supply limits imposed on pharmacies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manitobans are reminded that pharmacies have been asked to limit individuals to a 30-day supply of medication. All Canadian provinces have taken this step to prevent hoarding and ensure there is a consistent supply of medications.
 
Safe Work Manitoba online learning
Safe Work Manitoba has made several online courses available free of charge in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Click here to access those courses. Several Safe Work Manitoba e-learning courses are also available free of charge. Click here to browse the course list.
 
Health-related information
COVID-19 pandemic

We will be sending out a daily COVID-19 update during this time to ensure that Manitoba farmers have up to date information on the spread and scope of the pandemic. Our regular KAP Alert will continue to be published on Wednesday. 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.
 
Diagnostic testing
Non-essential and routine diagnostic testing, including laboratory, imaging and non-invasive cardiac services, will be postponed as Manitoba continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  Urgent diagnostic testing, including tests and procedures required for immediate care management, will continue with appropriate screening and precautions in place.  Affected patients will be contacted directly and urged to contact their doctor immediately if symptoms worsen.
 
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.
 
Interprovincial travel
Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel.  This includes international travel and travel within Canada.  There should be no recreational, tourist or non-essential personal travel.  In addition, effective immediately, public health officials are recommending that anyone who returns from travel, either international or domestic, should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return.
 
Provincial state of emergency
Manitoba is under a province-wide state of emergency. This order limits public gatherings of 50 or more people, including retail businesses, hospitality premises like bars and restaurants, and the closure of all wellness facilities including gyms and fitness centres.
 
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 Avenue 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 Guy Hall 28 First St. West
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 Avenue 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
 
Hospital visits
To protect the health of patients, staff and volunteers, visitor access at all Manitoba hospitals has been suspended. Exceptions for compassionate reasons will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis but will adhere to vigilant screening. One visitor per patient may be admitted with the approval of individual facility managers in some departments. For pediatric patients, one parent or guardian will be allowed to visit at a time following screening.
 
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
Canadian Federation of Agriculture survey

CFA is operating a farm-level survey of members to better understand the issues facing the agriculture industry during the outbreak of COVID-19. This week’s survey closes at 11:00am on Thursday March 26. Click here to access the survey.  
 
Elevator office closures and grading disputes
Under the Canada Grains Act, producers have the right to see grain being graded and weighed. Given the extraordinary circumstances, most elevators have closed their offices and have required producers to stay in the truck and on the driveway. Producers should exercise their judgement, and in the event of a grading dispute, should request a 1000-gram sample be retained at time of delivery and submitted to the Canadian Grain Commission. If producers feel they are not being treated fairly, they should contact CGC compliance officer Corey Birch at corey.birch@grainscanada.gc.ca.
 
Livestock auctions
The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association has decided that all auction markets in Manitoba will continue to host regular commercial cattle sales. All auction markets will have restricted access to sale barns and live commercial cattle auctions. Access will be restricted to essential persons needed to conduct sales, including staff, order buyers, and livestock inspection personnel. The general public will not be allowed admittance, including consignors or truck drivers. Truckers will be able to pick up their loading instructions at the loading docks after the sale.
 
Message from CFA
CFA president Mary Robinson has put together a weekly message for the agriculture industry. Click here to read the message.
 
Agri-HR toolkit
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) has made their AgriHR toolkit available free of charge for producers. Based on years of research and field testing conducted in Canada and internationally, this toolkit offers everything you need to improve your people-management skills and develop key resources to help you find, retain, and support your employees. Click here to access and use discount code COVID-19 to access the toolkit for free. CAHRC has also created a factsheet on COVID-19. Click here to access their factsheet.
 
CASA courses free of charge for farmers and producers
The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is making two online courses available free of charge to producers. These courses are available for any farm owner, operator, or worker to best prepare new and seasonal workers on the farm. For more information, click here.
 
KAP office
The KAP office is closed to outside visitors at this time. Many KAP staff are working from home and are following social distancing protocols. We will provide more information as this situation evolves.
 
KAP spring Advisory Council meeting
The KAP advisory council meeting scheduled for April 9 has been cancelled due to social distancing protocols. At this time, we do not have a new date scheduled for this meeting, but we will be in touch as new developments arise. Please check this space and check social media for further updates.
 
District meetings
KAP districts may be interested in holding meetings at this time to discuss issues facing the industry. The KAP office has the capability to host both conference calls and Zoom video meetings. Please contact Patty at patty.rosher@kap.ca should you be interested in scheduling a district meeting.
 
Issues from KAP members
We are working with the provincial government on a regular basis and working with the federal government through the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. We have already heard from members on the issues of seasonal workers and access to farm labour, testing concerns with Manitoba Public Insurance, processing capacity issues in the event of a broader outbreak in the province, and business risk management. If there are issues you think need to be raised with both levels of government, please contact Joey at joey.dearborn@kap.ca.
 
Updates from organizations
Message from Richardson International
Message from HyLife
Message from Maple Leaf Foods
Message from Simplot

 
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601-386 Broadway Ave, Winnipeg MB, R3C3R6

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