COVID-19 daily updates - Friday, May 1


3:33 p.m. Manitoba Legislature to resume on a limited basis

The Manitoba legislature will reconvene on Wednesday, May 6, to resume the legislative session on a limited schedule after it had been adjourned March 19 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, government house leader Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“As Manitoba gradually begins to reopen next week, our government will do the same to resume the second session of the province’s 42nd legislature,” said Goertzen. “Physical distancing measures will be in place in the legislative chamber, and all members of the legislative assembly will be required to comply with all relevant public health directives in place at that time.”

One sitting day will be held each week throughout May, on the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th of the month. These sittings will proceed on a schedule as they would normally, with a question period at 1:30 p.m. and debate on government business in the afternoon. 

A reduced number of members will be in the chamber to participate at any given time, in accordance with public health requirements as ordered by Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. Some logistical details continue to be worked out including the form that virtual legislative sittings might take with members possibly participating through video and/or audio links. A potential virtual sitting option is being led by the office of the Speaker of the assembly.

“We recognize it is important to allow the opposition to fulfil its role regarding its questions of the government, as well as to protect the health of all members by limiting large gatherings,” said Goertzen. 

In addition to regular sittings in the chamber, meetings of the Standing Committee on Crown Corporations will be scheduled for May 28, June 4 and June 11. Discussions are also proceeding toward scheduling a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee. 


1:14 p.m. Four new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba; 38 total active cases

Public health officials advise four new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 279.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care; 
•    38 active cases and 235 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 689 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 25,402. 

Public health orders restricting staff from working in more than one licensed personal care home (PCH) have been signed and will take effect today. The single-site restriction is intended to provide additional protection against the introduction and/or spread of the COVID-19 virus within PCHs. 

In recognition of the vulnerability of the PCH population to severe illness and/or death related to the virus, provincial planning has been underway to ensure the change is able to be implemented quickly while ensuring stable staffing and service continuity. As of today, all of Manitoba’s 127 licensed PCHs have confirmed readiness, with staff in place. 

It is important to note that while some gradual lifting of restrictions has begun, significant work to limit the spread of COVID-19 must continue. Public health officials are also advising people to remain within or close to their home communities. The request to stay home as much as possible is still in place at this time. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba and neighbouring jurisdictions, to essential trips only. 

The province is also launching an education campaign on being ‘COVID careful’ in cottage country to remind all campers and cottagers that COVID-19 guidelines must be followed. The goal is to raise awareness and encourage Manitobans to do the same within their social networks by posting supportive educational messages.

The campaign will include portable signs and education stops on key highway routes, new materials that can be displayed in car and cottage windows, as well as a social media campaign, all designed to show that cottagers in provincial parks and across the province are aware of their responsibilities and are encouraging others to stay mindful. 

A secure online portal is being established to allow Manitobans who have been tested for COVID-19 to more quickly access their negative test results. Starting next week, when people are tested they will receive information about how to register and access these results. Users will need a Manitoba health registration card in order to access their results online.

A toll-free number will be available early next week to provide results to those without a Manitoba health card or those without internet access. As always, public health officials will directly notify Manitobans who have tested positive for COVID-19.

A new drive-thru community testing site opened today in Swan River, at the Manitoba Public Insurance facility, 125 Fourth Ave. North. Hours of operation are daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is Manitoba’s 16th community testing site and ninth drive-thru location. 

Additionally, work is underway to get a new testing site established at Thunderbird House to support access to testing for Winnipeg’s homeless and shelter populations, as well as a new mobile service available in the next two weeks to serve clients with limited mobility.

For up-to-date information on testing criteria and community screening sites, visit For more information and to access the online screening tool for COVID-19, visit

Restoring Safe Services:  Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for recovery is available at Updates have been made to this document to clarify inconsistencies between the plan and the recent public health orders. Businesses with questions about how the new orders apply to them should visit

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:


11:16 a.m. Province launches Gap Protection Program online

The provincial government’s online portal to facilitate business applications to the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is now live, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Many Manitoba small and medium-sized businesses are facing significant pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to help them through this challenging time,” said Pallister. “We created a Manitoba solution to bridge the gap for approximately 20,000 businesses that don’t qualify for the federal funding announced in response to COVID-19, to make sure some relief is available to local businesses so they can minimize layoffs, hire staff back and prepare to safely restore the services they offer to Manitobans.”

The premier announced the $120-million MGPP last week and noted staff worked hard to get a website up and running so Manitoba businesses can submit applications for funding. The MGPP provides an interest-free, forgivable $6,000 loan to small and medium-sized businesses in Manitoba that have experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders. Loans are available to businesses that fail to qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies created because of COVID-19. 

Eligible businesses will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $6,000, electronically deposited into their business bank account. 

“Our government has been working with Manitoba’s business sector to identify the greatest need and target our support to businesses harmed by the pandemic and its fallout,” said Pallister. “We are working with our partners to ensure we make the right decisions at the right time so we can provide maximum opportunities for recovery for the benefit of all Manitobans.”

Permanent, Manitoba-based businesses that were operational in the province on March 20 (the date the Manitoba government declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19) are eligible to apply if they temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order, which harmed their business in Manitoba. Businesses must not have received federal government COVID-19 grant funding support, and do not intend to apply for and receive previously announced federal government COVID-19 non-repayable funding support.

Eligible businesses are now able to submit online applications forms at To apply online, applicants must have:
•    a valid Manitoba Business Number;
•    a Companies Office registry number;
•    good standing with the Companies Office; 
•  Manitoba Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Retail Sales Tax account numbers, if applicable;
•    the sole proprietor’s social insurance number (SIN) as well as one other partner’s SIN (if the business is a partnership);
•    business email address; and
•    business bank account information for purposes of depositing the payment.

The full form and list of eligibility criteria is available online. Individuals that require assistance in completing the online form can contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office (toll-free) at 1-888-805-7554. 
The province’s goal is to provide a $6,000 deposit to eligible businesses within a few days of applying online, the premier added.

The application deadline for MGPP is July 31.