COVID-19 daily updates - Tuesday, April 21


1:06 p.m. One new confirmed COVID-19 case in Manitoba

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 was identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 255. 

The data also shows:
•    seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes four individuals in intensive care; 
•    99 active cases and 150 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
•    the number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 314 tests on Monday. A total of 20,319 tests have been performed since early February. 

Public health officials have expanded testing criteria to ensure there is capacity to do additional testing. It is important for people showing symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, a runny nose, a sore throat and a fever, to be tested to better determine the spread of the virus in Manitoba. 

Manitobans are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and meet testing criteria, they should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257. 

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

Public health officials advise Manitobans to stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes only travelling to the cottage or second residence if needed. If people must travel, they are encourage to:
•    only travel with family members,
•    not visit with others on arrival,
•    avoid stopping for gas or other supplies on the way, and
•    only visit local health-care providers in case of emergency. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a supplement to these and other measures including strict hand hygiene and both social and physical distancing. 

To conserve PPE for health-care workers, public health officials are recommending all people who enter a health-care facility wear a cloth mask to protect others. In addition, patients and clients are encouraged to wear non-medical face masks during any health-care interaction, as well as when using public transit, handi-transit or a taxi.

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

11:08 a.m. WCB returning surplus to provide financial releif to Manitoba employers

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief to eligible employers in the province, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on employers across the province, with businesses especially hurting right now, and we’re working across government and with our partners to find ways to provide relief to employers that need it,” said Pallister. “Given the economic uncertainties, these actions will provide money to employers at a time where cash flow is a challenge.”

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) board of directors has approved and authorized further relief for employers who fund the WCB by returning approximately $37 million in surplus funds.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the majority of our customers and we have actively explored how we can help mitigate the financial impact to employers,” said Michael Werier, chairperson of the WCB. “With a healthy reserve fund, we are pleased to provide a refund of approximately 20 per cent to employers to help bolster their bottom line. It’s incumbent upon businesses like ourselves to do our part to actively help support financial recovery efforts over the next several months.”

This is the second year the WCB has returned surplus funds to eligible employers while still maintaining the lowest assessment rate in Canada. In making this decision, the WCB’s board of directors considered the long-term financial projections in conjunction with maintaining rate stability and still protecting the workers compensation system against risk, uncertainty and market volatility.

In May, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium. To be eligible to receive the surplus, employers must have fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019 payroll to receive the surplus distribution.

For the health-care sector, which includes regional health authorities and several other agencies such as CancerCare Manitoba, Riverview Health Centre and personal care homes, this equals an approximate $6.2-million refund.

Of the $37 million, WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with approximately $7 million going to small businesses in Manitoba.

“We are proud the work we’ve done over the years to increase our system efficiency allows us to have the lowest WCB rate in Canada and we can now offer some measure of relief to employers suffering the financial hardships COVID-19 has created,” said Winston Maharaj, president and CEO, WCB. “We applaud all of the employers and front-line workers who continue to serve the public in these extremely challenging times.”

Earlier this month, WCB announced it would defer premium payments until the end of May, not charge business interest and/or penalties for non-payment until October, extend the payroll-reporting deadline until the end of May and ensure that coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer payments until the end of October. Clearances will remain in good standing.

The WCB is a mutual workplace injury and disability statutory corporation funded by employer premiums. It insures more than 34,000 employers and 76 per cent of the Manitoba workforce.