Brandon Sun Canada
Walmart employee tests positive - Brandon Sun
An employee of the Brandon Walmart has “recently” tested positive for COVID-19, a Walmart spokesperson told the Sun on Thursday. “We are in contact with the associate and are keeping them in our thoughts,” the spokesperson said.
Brandons Walmart is seen Thursday, where an employee who hasnt worked at the store since July 26 tested positive at an undisclosed time. (Tyler Clarke/The Brandon Sun) An employee of the Brandon Walmart has "recently" tested positive for COVID-19, a Walmart spokesperson told the Sun on Thursday. "We are in contact with the associate and are keeping them in our thoughts," the spokesperson said. "Everyone at Walmart wishes them a speedy recovery." The confirmation came via emailed correspondence in response to an inquiry the Sun submitted while following up on an anonymous tip. The associate last worked at the store on July 26, the spokesperson said. In addition to confirming the news, the spokesperson highlighted several measures the store has taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including • Increased cleaning throughout the store. • Wellness checks that include a temperature check for all associates at the start of each shift. • Limiting the number of customers shopping in the store at one time. • Cleaning shopping carts. • Encouraging regular handwashing and offering associates gloves and masks and to regularly clean their work areas (including checkouts). • Plexiglas dividers installed at registers, customer service desks and in pharmacies. • The introduction of floor markings and one-way aisles to create physical distancing. » The Brandon Sun
Businesses cautious as COVID-19 cases climb - Brandon Sun
With Manitoba seeing the number of COVID-19 cases increase over the last month, some businesses in Brandon are taking steps to keep their employees safe and stop the spread of the virus. There were 27 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Manitoba over the Terry…
With Manitoba seeing the number of COVID-19 cases increase over the last month, some businesses in Brandon are taking steps to keep their employees safe and stop the spread of the virus. There were 27 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Manitoba over the Terry Fox Day long weekend, bringing the total number of confirmed and presumed positive cases in the province to 442. On Saturday, there were two new cases of COVID-19, 18 new cases on Sunday and seven new cases on Monday. Sunday’s total of 18 new cases was the largest single-day total of new cases since April 1, when 33 cases of the virus were discovered. It was also the fifth-highest single-day total of new cases since the pandemic started. Because it was a long weekend, the provincial government only provided new case numbers but not any specific details such as the age of those diagnosed or what part of the province they live in. However, there have been several businesses in Manitoba and Westman that have had to shut down due to the virus recently. Last week, Minnedosa’s Blazers Mini Mart and Asian Spices of Brandon closed temporarily after possible exposure to the virus was reported at both businesses by Manitoba Health. The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Sunday that the Boston Pizza and Smitty’s locations in Steinbach have closed temporarily as a result of positive cases detected in employees. Steinbach Credit Union posted on Sunday evening that an employee tested positive for the virus and their branch was being deep cleaned in preparation for reopening today. Because of the loosening of restrictions and the increase in cases, one Brandon restaurant has made the decision to voluntarily close its dining room. Chilli Chutney on 34th Street posted on its Facebook page on Saturday that it is moving to takeout and delivery orders only to protect both staff and the public from the virus. Speaking to the Sun on Monday, owner Laxman Negi said he was concerned about the virus possibly spreading from people travelling to Brandon from outside the province as well as a local increase in cases. "Before, there were no people coming from outside of Manitoba," he said. "Now we can see the different cars, people coming from outside. We are getting lots of deliveries from hotels to people coming to pick up and eat at the restaurant. There are some new cases in the Brandon area, so I thought ‘let’s wait for two weeks and see how it goes.’ We can’t really track where people are coming from." While his staff is following social distancing and other guidelines, it’s the unknown factor of people travelling through Brandon that he worries about not being able to control when it comes to health and safety. When it comes to customers wearing masks, he said that older people have been more likely to wear them. In two weeks, Negi will decide if he feels safe enough to resume dine-in service. Of the 11 comments on the restaurant’s Facebook post, none criticized management for making the decision. Negi also isn’t worried about losing out on money from closing the dining room. "We are getting enough support from our customers. Lots of delivery and takeout (orders). It doesn’t make a big difference, really." Other local businesses are also starting to change rules and procedures, but many of them belong to chains with North America-wide policies. A thread on the People of Brandon Facebook group has been started to catalogue local businesses that are requiring customers to wear a mask. One of the businesses listed is Dollar Tree on Victoria Avenue. When a Sun reporter dropped by the dollar store on Monday, a sign was on the front door saying "no one may enter without a face covering." The COVID-19 page on Dollar Tree’s Canadian website, which hasn’t been updated since May 14, says that employees are required to wear masks but does not mention an official mask policy for customers. An employee answering the phone at Spencer’s at Shoppers Mall said that while they can’t enforce the rule, they’ve been asking customers to wear masks in the store for approximately two weeks now. Also at Shoppers Mall, an employee answering the phone at women’s clothing store Maurices said that the chain started mandating mask use in all stores in the chain as of Wednesday or Thursday last week. Another chain in the mall, Bath and Body Works, asks customers to wear masks in its locations in its list of frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19. » [email protected], with files from the Winnipeg Free Press » Twitter: @ColinSlark
Quebec reports 79 new cases, eight additional deaths linked to COVID-19 - Brandon Sun
MONTREAL - Quebec reported eight additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday as health officials south of Montreal probed a cluster of positive cases stemming from a local bar.The province, the hardest hit in Canada by COVID-19, has reported 5,574 deaths sinc…
MONTREAL - Quebec reported eight additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday as health officials south of Montreal probed a cluster of positive cases stemming from a local bar. The province, the hardest hit in Canada by COVID-19, has reported 5,574 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, but only one of those reported on Sunday was classified as a new death. Authorities said the other seven deaths occurred before June 27. The province also reported 79 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 55,863. On Saturday, the province had crept up over 100 daily cases for the first time since June 20. The number of hospitalizations and intensive-care cases decreased slightly for a total of 371 and 26 patients, respectively. As the province has gradually reopened sectors, health authorities have said they've been keeping watch for outbreaks, like one on Montreal's South Shore where health officials warned of COVID-19 cases stemming from people who went to a bar in Brossard, Que. Health officials urged patrons who went to the Mile Public House restaurant in the Dix-30 commercial district on the evening of June 30 between 8 p.m. and closing to get tested. The restaurant also urged patrons to isolate and get tested, noting in an online post that the outbreak involves five people from the same group, seated at the same table. Dr. Julie Loslier, the regional public health director, said in a video published Sunday that it was a reminder to respect prevention instructions in all shops and public places. "It would be a mistake to think that this establishment is more at risk or more dangerous than another. This is not at all the case," Loslier said. She noted the bar has already been disinfected and was only identified because of the public health investigation underway, but added this kind of transmission can occur in any business. The restaurant management said on its Facebook page that all employees will be tested and those working that night have are self-isolating. Loslier drew attention to the COVID-19 situation in the United States, where bars have been at the heart of some outbreaks. "We have seen with our neighbours to the south that the situation with bars has given rise to outbreaks and more and more cases, especially among younger populations, and we would especially not want to have to go back," she said. Loslier said physical distancing seems to narrow with alcohol consumption, but the responsibility for following public health rules is a shared one between owners and customers. Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's public health director, was in the region on Friday and warned citizens not to let their guard down and continue to practice physical distancing, hygiene measures and wearing masks when a two-metre distance can't be kept. Also Friday, the hospital in St-Jerome, Que., about 60 kilometres north of Montreal, announced it was suspending regular visits indefinitely and restricting access to its end-of-life, palliative and birthing units with authorization only after a novel coronavirus outbreak in the facility. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.
A look at how provinces plan to emerge from COVID-19 shutdown - Brandon Sun
Provinces and territories have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far:Newfoundland and LabradorThe province entered "Alert Level 3" on June 8…
Provinces and territories have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far: Newfoundland and Labrador The province entered "Alert Level 3" on June 8 in its five stage reopening plan. It means groups of up to 20 people are now permitted, as long as they observe physical distancing. Up to 19 people are allowed on public transit. Private health clinics, such as optometrists and dentists, can open, as well as medium-risk businesses such as clothing stores and hair salons. Travel within the province is also permitted, including to second homes, parks and campgrounds. And 11 government service centres will reopen to offer in-person services that can be booked by appointment, including written tests, driver exams and identification photos. During Level 4 some businesses such as law firms and other professional services were allowed to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions. Outdoor games of tennis were allowed to resume, though players must bring their own equipment and not share it. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said the province could move to the next alert level by as soon as today (June 22nd). At Level 2, businesses with performance spaces and gyms are to reopen, while Level 1 would represent "the new normal." Nova Scotia Provincial campgrounds reopened June 15 at reduced capacity to ensure a minimum of six metres between individual sites. Private campgrounds had already been given the green light to reopen, but only at 50 per cent capacity. They must also ensure public health protocols are followed, including adequate distancing between campsites. Licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes also reopened across Nova Scotia on June 15. On May 29 Premier Stephen McNeil announced a new gathering limit of 10 people, doubling the limit of five that was imposed in late March. The limit is the same indoors and outdoors, with exceptions for outdoor weddings and funeral services which can have 15 people. Nova Scotia has allowed summer day camps for children to open as long as they have a plan to follow public health measures. Most businesses ordered shut in late March were allowed to reopen on June 5. The list of businesses includes bars and restaurant dining rooms, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and yoga studios, among others. Some health providers were also able to reopen, including dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices. McNeil earlier said there would be no return to school this year. Prince Edward Island The province moved into the third phase of its reopening plan June 1, which allows such things as in-house dining at restaurants, small groups to participate in recreational and some sporting activities and libraries to reopen. Phase three also allows gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors and the reopening of child-care centres. As well, family and friends can visit residents at long-term care homes. The visits require an appointment and must take place outdoors. Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King said people wanting to travel to seasonal residences could apply, and would be put through a risk assessment before approval. Seasonal residents were also to be tested for COVID-19 before completing two weeks in self-isolation after arriving in the province. Under Phase 2, non-contact outdoor recreational activities were permitted, and retail businesses could reopen with physical distancing and select health-service providers. Priority non-urgent surgeries resumed on May 1. The P.E.I legislature resumed May 26. New Brunswick New Brunswick moved to the yellow phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan on May 22, allowing barbers and hair stylists to reopen as well as churches and fitness facilities. Dental care, massage, chiropractors and other "close contact" businesses and services could also reopen. But the Campbellton region, which extends from Whites Brook to the Belledune, had to take a step backwards to the "orange" level on May 27. Residents were told to once again avoid contacts outside their two-household bubble. Non-regulated health professionals and personal service businesses that opened May 22 also had to close again. And people should only be travelling in and out of Zone 5 for essential reasons. Further restrictions were lifted on June 5. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed, as well as indoor religious services of up to 50 people, low-contact team sports and the opening of a long list of facilities including swimming pools, gyms, rinks, water parks, and yoga and dance studios. Under New Brunswick's latest recovery rules, Canadian residents can now visit family members or properties they own in the province, provided they self-isolate for 14 days or the duration of their visit if it is less than two weeks. As well, New Brunswick residents no longer need to self-isolate when returning from work in another Canadian province or territory. All organized sports will resume with appropriate physical distancing and sanitizing. Overnight camps will reopen and indoor visits will resume at long-term care facilities for one visitor at a time, or two if one of the visitors needs help. The cap on the number of people who can gather in controlled venues including churches, swimming pools and rinks has been lifted, but crowd numbers will be limited by the ability to maintain physical distancing. Masks in any building open to the general public are required except for children under the age of two, children in daycare and people who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons. Retail businesses, offices, restaurants, libraries, museums and seasonal campgrounds were earlier allowed to reopen providing they had clear plans for meeting public health guidelines. The final phase, which officials have said will probably come only after a vaccine is available, is to include large gatherings. Quebec Quebec is reopening several sectors and relaxing the rules for indoor gatherings today (June 22), particularly impacting the Montreal area. Restaurants can reopen in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, like elsewhere in Quebec. Gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship may reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings. Day camps across the province can reopen today, with physical distancing. Sleep-away summer camps won't be allowed to reopen until next year. Residents of long term care homes that don't have active COVID-19 cases were earlier allowed to receive visitors inside, meet people outdoors and participate in group activities. They were also allowed to leave the facilities unaccompanied and remain out for more than 24 hours. Beginning June 26, volunteers and hairdressers will also be allowed inside the facilities. On May 25 some retail businesses reopened in the greater Montreal area, while retail stores outside Montreal reopened on May 11. Parks and pools have also been allowed to reopen across the province with certain restrictions. Sports teams resumed outdoor practices on June 8, and matches can resume at the end of the month. That includes baseball, soccer and any other sports that can be played outdoors. Quebec's construction and manufacturing industries have resumed operations with limits on the number of employees who can work per shift. Elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal reopened on May 11, but high schools, junior colleges and universities will stay closed until September. Elementary schools in the greater Montreal area are to remain closed until late August. Courthouses across the province were permitted to reopen on June 1, with limited seating capacity and Plexiglas barriers protecting clerks and judges. Camping is now allowed outside the Montreal and Joliette regions, as are cottage rentals. Checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 came down on May 18 in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa. Ontario All regions of Ontario except for Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex entered Stage 2 of the province's phased reopening plan on June 19. The second stage includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools. Child-care centres across Ontario can also reopen. Meanwhile, the limit on social gatherings increased from five to 10 provincewide. Restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies across the province were also eased. The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue, while outdoor events are limited to 50 people. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10. Ontarians can resume visiting loved ones in long-term care homes, as long as they test negative for COVID-19. All construction has resumed, with limits also lifted on maintenance, repair and property management services, such as cleaning, painting and pool maintenance. Golf courses can reopen though clubhouses can only open for washrooms and take-out food. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can also open, as can private parks and campgrounds for trailers and RVs whose owners have a full season contract, and businesses that board animals. Short-term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condominiums were allowed to resume operations on June 5. The Ontario government says students will likely return to school in September with a mix of in-class and remote learning, though boards will develop various scenarios, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading at that point. Premier Doug Ford said there won't be a one-size-fits-all approach in schools, but parents provincewide will have the option of sending their children back to class or keeping them learning remotely. Ontario schools are to remain closed for the rest of the current school year. This summer's Honda Indy Toronto has been cancelled. Manitoba Several more restrictions were eased in Manitoba on June 21. Restaurants and bars no longer have to operate at half capacity, however tables will have to be two metres apart or have a physical barrier in between them. Non-smoking bingo halls and video lottery terminal lounges can also reopen at 50 per cent capacity. Child care centres and retail stores can return to normal capacity, and people arriving in Manitoba from the other western provinces, northern territories and northwestern Ontario no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days. Larger public gatherings are also allowed. Instead of a cap of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, people can fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of any venue as long as they can be split into groups of 50 indoors or 100 outdoors. Each group must be able to enter and exit separately. On June 1, the province eased a ban on people visiting loved ones in personal care homes. Homes can now offer outdoor visits with a maximum of two guests per resident. Visitors will be screened upon arrival and must practice physical distancing. Amateur sports and recreation programs, as well as bowling alleys, have been allowed to resume operations. Elementary and high schools will not reopen this school year. Saskatchewan Saskatchewan moves into the next phase of its reopening strategy today (June 22). Under Phase 4.1 camping in national parks can resume, but by reservation only. Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, and with guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the constant disinfection of play structures and monitoring of children for coronavirus symptoms. Outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited, as does competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games. Shared equipment must be disinfected frequently, while congratulatory gestures, such as high fives and handshakes, are not permitted. Saskatchewans outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can reopen with physical distancing, maximum capacity, and stringent cleaning rules in effect. Though they can now do so, some municipalities, including Regina and Saskatoon, have said they won't be reopening their outdoor pools right away. The province is also doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants The third phase of Saskatchewan's reopening plan started June 8 with the province lifting a ban on non-essential travel in the north. More businesses were also allowed to reopen, including places of worship and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlours and gyms. Up to 150 people or one-third the capacity of a building, whichever is less, can attend church services, including weddings and funerals. Outdoor graduations can be held with a maximum 30 graduates per class and an overall attendance of 150 people. The previous limit was 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors. Restaurants and bars can open at half capacity, with physical distancing between tables, and child-care centres can open their doors to a maximum of 15 kids. The second part of Phase 4 is expected to include reopening guidelines for indoor pools, rinks, libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, casinos and bingo halls. A date for Phase 4.2 has yet to be announced. In Phase 5, the province will consider lifting restrictions on the size of public gatherings. The Saskatchewan government says students will return to regular classes in September. Alberta In Alberta, everything from gyms and arenas to spas, movie theatres, libraries, pools and sports activities got the green light to reopen on June 12. More people were also allowed to book campsites and sit in restaurants at the same time. Fifty people can now gather indoors and up to 100 can congregate outside. Among the other activities allowed to go ahead are casinos and bingo halls, community halls, instrumental concerts, massage, acupuncture and reflexology, artificial tanning and summer schools. Major festivals and sporting events remain banned, as do nightclubs and amusement parks. Vocal concerts are not being allowed, given that singing carries a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. Alberta aims to have students back in classrooms this September though Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says a final decision will be made by Aug. 1. British Columbia The provincial government allowed a partial reopening of the B.C. economy starting May 19. The reopening plans are contingent on organizations and businesses having plans that follow provincial guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19. Parents in B.C. were given the choice of allowing their children to return to class on a part-time basis starting June 1. The government said its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September, if it's safe. Under the part-time plan, for kindergarten to Grade 5, most students will go to school half time, while grades 6 to 12 will go about one day a week. Conventions, large concerts, international tourism and professional sports with a live audience will not be allowed to resume until either a vaccine is widely available, community immunity has been reached, or effective treatment can be provided for the disease. Nunavut Although Nunavut still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the territory did implement a wide range of public health measures to keep residents safe. Some have since been relaxed. Gyms and pools are available for solo workouts and lap swims. Dental, physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic clinics, as well as offices and stores can open with appropriate safety measures. Individuals may visit galleries, museums and libraries, and daycares are open. Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted. Territorial parks and municipal playgrounds may reopen. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories announced on May 12 a three-phase reopening plan. The plan includes more gatherings and the possible reopening of some schools and businesses. However, the territory's borders remain closed indefinitely to non-residents and non-essential workers. There are several requirements that must be met before any measures are relaxed: there must be no evidence of community spread; travel entry points in the territory are strong and secure; risks are reduced from workers coming into the territory; and expanded community testing is available. Yukon In the Yukon new guidelines have been released for long-term care facilities that will allow for visits with one designated person at a pre-set location outdoors. The territory also said bars with an approved health and safety plan could reopen at half capacity under certain other restrictions starting June 19. Travel restrictions will be lifted between Yukon and B.C. after July 1 under the second phase of the territory's pandemic restart plan. After that date, travellers between the province and territory will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days. The territory says monitoring the status of neighbouring jurisdictions will determine if it's safe to further lift restrictions. Territorial parks and campgrounds have also reopened. Two households of up to 10 people in total are currently able to interact with each other as part of a "household bubble." This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020
Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba easing more COVID-19 restrictions - Brandon Sun
Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are all easing more of the restrictions they implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec, which accounts for just over half of Canada's COVID-19 cases, is reopening several sectors today, impacting the Mon…
Charles Wood wipes down a table on the patio of Paradiso in Oakville, Ont., Saturday, June 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are all easing more of the restrictions they implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec, which accounts for just over half of Canada's COVID-19 cases, is reopening several sectors today, impacting the Montreal area in particular. Restaurants can open again in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, as they have been elsewhere in Quebec since last week. Day camps, along with gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship can reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan moves to Phase 4.1 of its reopening strategy today, which allows camping in national parks to resume, but by reservation only. Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, and with guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the constant disinfection of play structures and monitoring of children for coronavirus symptoms. Outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited, as does competitive play, tournaments and inter-provincial travel for games. Shared equipment must be disinfected frequently, and no high-fiving or handshakes are allowed. Saskatchewan’s outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can also reopen with physical distancing, maximum capacity, and stringent cleaning rules in effect. However, some municipalities, including Regina and Saskatoon, have said they won't be reopening their outdoor pools right away. The province is also doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people where space allows for two metres between participants. Manitoba moved to relax more of its restrictions yesterday. Restaurants and bars no longer have to operate at half capacity, however, tables must be two metres apart or have a physical barrier between them. Non-smoking bingo halls and video lottery terminal lounges can also reopen at half capacity. Child care centres and retail stores can return to normal capacity, and people arriving in Manitoba from other western provinces, northern territories and northwestern Ontario no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days. Larger public gatherings are also permitted. People can now fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of any venue as long as they can be split into groups of 50 indoors or 100 outdoors. By the end of Sunday Canada's COVID-19 case total stood at 101,337, including 8,430 deaths and 63,886 cases resolved. This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.