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As cases rise province announces more people are back to work


The past week has seen a significant jump in the number of new cases of COVID-19; however the north remains unaffected thus far.
In a seven span ending on Monday afternoon, there were 116 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, according to the province’s Chief Public Health Officer, including a one day high of 35 on Sunday. The number of active cases jumped substantially, going from 97 last Monday to 196 as of Monday afternoon.
Many of those new cases are centred around known clusters linked to Hutterite colonies and areas in and around Brandon. Brandon has been in the public spotlight with at least one store closing doing to an outbreak in staff at the facility.
Despite the drastic jump in numbers over the past two weeks, which has seen total number of diagnosed cases nearly double, the north remains unaffected, with no new cases reported in the region.
The north has not had an active case since April.
With the jump in confirmed cases has also come a rise in the number of tests for the virus being conducted and on Saturday the province announced they had reached the 100,000 mark for total number of tests completed since testing first began in March.
The province also advised of two more potential exposures related to travel, both on Air Canada flights. One case flew on July 26th, first on flight AC 873 from Frankfurt, Germany, to Toronto (rows unknown) and then on Air Canada flight AC 265 from Toronto to Winnipeg on July 26 (rows 22 to 28).
A second case was reported to have flown on July 29th on Air Canada flight AC 8595 from Montreal to Winnipeg (rows 16 to 22).
In both cases, the province said people in those rows are advised to self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate for 14 days. Anyone on the flights but not in those rows is asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
While the number of cases accelerates upward the province released their data on the labour force for July, showing that an increase of 12,400 people found employment as more and more people return to work.
The increase came between June and July’s numbers, the third month the province has shown an increase in employment of over 10,000 jobs, however the unemployment numbers are still high and a long way from returning to normal.
Premier Brian Pallister stated that over 60 per cent of people who lost employment due to COVID-19 are now back on the job.
Full-time employment was up by 1.3 per cent, or 6,200 jobs, while part-time employment rose by five per cent, or 6,100 jobs.
The unemployment rate remains high however, at 8.2 per cent. That rate is the lowest in the country though, as all provinces were impacted heavily by the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent restrictions imposed to curtail its reach.
The full July 2020 Labour Force Survey bulletin can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/mbs/reports/labour_force_statistics.html.
The province also announce the Manitoba Gap Protection Program would have its’ deadline for applications extended from August 31 to October 31. The program, for businesses ineligible for federal support, can receive up to $6,000.

Trent Allen