COVID-19 daily updates - Friday, May 8


2:09 p.m. Province fast tracks funding to municipalities due to COVID-19 challenges 

The province is speeding up the pace of funding to Manitoba municipalities to help with the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Many Manitobans are facing tough financial times and our government has committed to flowing faster a large portion of municipal funding grants in recognition of immediate pressures that municipalities are facing as a result of COVID-19,” said Squires. “We want to provide certainty to municipalities to help maintain critical essential services such as emergency personnel, even as we face unprecedented financial pressure as a provincial government.”

The province is flowing 75 per cent of its municipal operating grants directly to municipalities, with the remainder to be provided in the fall. 

“These grants are considered unconditional and municipalities can utilize the funding according to local priorities,” said Squires. “I look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with municipalities, for the benefit of all Manitobans.”

This builds on the province’s earlier commitment to maintaining funding levels to municipalities as promised in Budget 2020.

In all, the province provides a total of $172.6 million in operating funding to municipalities as well a total of $137 million for municipal infrastructure, and funding for other strategic priorities such as policing, public safety and solid waste reduction.

“Municipalities are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting local communities and delivering essential services,” said Ralph Groening, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities. “Providing a larger portion of operating funding up front will certainly help alleviate the tremendous financial pressures on our members. We commend the Province of Manitoba for providing this timely assistance.”

Full details Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap to Recovery are available at and businesses with questions on restoring their services should visit

Maintaining critical funding to municipalities is one of the ways the provincial government continues to support directly Manitoba communities. In March, the province announced nearly $8 million in one-time funding for spring flood preparedness projects in 83 municipalities.

Manitoba has invested more than $900 million under the Manitoba Protection Plan in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, the province has announced a number of measures in order to provide financial relief for Manitobans including:

•    Ensuring up to $110 million is returned to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) policyholders. Rebates are expected to be around 11 per cent, or between $140 to $160 per average policyholder.

•    Providing up to $120 million to support Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses through the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP). The province will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000, for a total of up to $120 million.

•    Returning the $37-million Workers Compensation Board (WCB) surplus to eligible Manitoba employers. This month, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium. WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with approximately $7 million going to small businesses in Manitoba.

For current information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit visit

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



1:07 p.m. One new COVID-19 case in Manitoba, active case number drop to 30

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 has been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today. The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba is 284.

The data also shows:
•    five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care; 
•    30 active cases and 247 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven.

As of yesterday, an additional 543 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 29,343. 

One additional person has tested positive from the workplace cluster in the Prairie Mountain Health region, bringing the total to eight cases. There is no cause for concern, and this is not unexpected as public health officials continue to investigate and trace contacts. Affected staff and their close contacts are self-isolating and public health officials are continuing with detailed contact tracing.

Restoring Safe Services:  Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery is available at 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:



11:14 a.m. Province lifts one month limit on filling of prescriptions

The Manitoba government is lifting the one-month supply limit on prescription drugs, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. 

Effective May 11, Manitobans who have prescriptions for long-term medications will be able to fill them as per their prescriber’s directions up to a three-month supply, if the drug is not affected by shortages. In March, the government moved to restrict prescription fills to one month in response to global drug shortages. This move was consistent with all provinces and territories, and was in response to advice received from the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Canadian Association for Pharmaceutical Distributors and Management.

In Manitoba, these limits were imposed on March 19. This was done to minimize potential distribution shortages and prevent people from stockpiling medication due in part to messaging from the federal government to Canadians. Another contributing factor is the typically high volume of dispensing that occurs at the end of Manitoba’s Pharmacare Program year, which is in late March. 

“While this decision to restrict prescription fills to one month was necessary, we have been monitoring carefully the consequences and recognize the impact this has had on many Manitobans,” said Friesen. “As a result, our government is pleased to be removing the one-month limit now that the global and domestic drug supply is showing to be more stable.” 

Friesen noted today’s announcement builds on other measures the government has taken to minimize the financial pressure caused as a result of the policy. 

“Our government acted early and announced shortly after placing the limit on prescription fills, pharmacare rates would be frozen at last year’s level, and users would see no increase to their pharmacare deductible,” said Friesen.

The minister also announced the immediate establishment of a time-limited, COVID-19 drug shortage working group which will be comprised of provincial officials, as well as representatives from Pharmacists Manitoba and the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba.

This working group will be responsible for ongoing surveillance and monitoring of drug availability in the province. This work will allow the group to make evidence-based decisions as to what drugs should continue to only be dispensed in one-month allotments. The work of the group will be guided by Health Canada’s list of drugs in short supply that can be found at The working group will also solicit for proposals from industry, stakeholder groups and health-related associations to make evidence-based decisions in a collaborative format.

To ensure Manitobans can benefit from this financial relief, while also allowing the working group to begin their work, only drugs currently listed in short supply on the federal government’s drug shortages website will be subject to the one-month fill limit. Pharmacists will be able to advise their clients about which specific drugs are in short supply and might be subject to dispensing limits. 

Further to the announcement, the minister noted Manitobans who have experienced a significant change in their income can have their Manitoba Pharmacare Program deductible reviewed. Individuals can estimate their income for the current year, which in turn will set a new deductible for that same year. Following the filing of the individual’s income taxes for the current year, the projected income is then compared to the actual income and the difference is reconciled. To have a Manitoba pharmacare deductible reviewed, call 204-786-7141 or (toll-free) at 1-800-297-8099, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Pharmacists Manitoba is asking their clients to appropriately refill their medications, such as not refilling more than 10 days before their next scheduled refill, and not requesting quantities in excess of 100 days’ supply, to help maintain the drug supply going forward.

To help ease the financial burden on seniors, the Manitoba government also announced May 5, the Seniors Economic Recovery Credit which will provide every Manitoban aged 65 and older with a one-time, refundable tax credit of $200.

For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit

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