The Thompson Local News

COVID-19 vaccine super site in Thompson not accepting appointments at this time

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 10.6 percent. 


He also reported four additional deaths with three in Winnipeg and one in the Northern health region linked to the outbreak at the Rod McGillivary Memorial Care Home. 


Of the new cases 46 are in the Northern health region and 45 in Winnipeg with lower numbers in other regions.


Roussin says they are still seeing outbreaks in northern and First Nations communities and so there’s a lot of work on the ground with the rapid response teams, rapid testing, a lot of work right now on alternative isolation accommodations because it’s very important to get those cases of contact isolated to break the chain of transmission.


He adds they see the numbers today showing a slight downturn but they’re still concerned about the outbreaks in the remote settings.


Of the 27,629 reported cases 3,108 are active, 23,748 individuals have recovered and 289 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.


It was noted that the delay in Pfizer vaccine distribution will have no affect on the commitment of Moderna doses made to First Nations communities.


However, the super-site in Thompson is not accepting appointments at this time. Dr. Joss Reimer, Medical Officer of Health and a member of Manitoba's COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force says she will notify the public during the the pandemic press briefings when it will accept appointments.

MKO Grand Chief "concerned" over high COVID-19 case rates in northern Manitoba

With the high number of COVID-19 cases reported in the Northern Health Region this past week, MKO Grand Chief says they’re working with government partners to understand what is driving these numbers.


Settee expressed concern for MKO citizens in a statement on Thursday, explaining it’s in talks with Indigenous Services Canada and the Northern Health Region to get more details on the epidemiology on why the north is seeing such an increase of cases recently.


He recommends everyone to continue to follow public health orders, mentioning that in the case where someone passes away, that families look to find creative ways to honour their loved ones as large funerals are not allowed while under code red.


Some ways include online memorials for those with internet access or delaying in-person memorials until it’s safe to do so.


This comes after provincial public health officials announced nearly 400 cases of the novel coronavirus and five deaths in the NRHA over the course of last week, with outbreaks in Thompson, Lynn Lake, and Garden Hill.

Province says work is being done following reports of increasing COVID numbers in some northern communities

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 191 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the five day test positivity rate to ten percent. 


He also reported five additional deaths with three in the Winnipeg region and one each in the Southern and Northern health regions.


Roussin noted the current restrictions are making a difference explaining they looked back at the modeling numbers on the trajectory we were on in early November and looking back at that they’ve figured that from November 12th to January 3rd these red level restrictions have likely saved 17 hundred lives.


Of the new cases, 84 are in the Northern health region and 71 in Winnipeg region, with lower numbers in other regions.


Roussin says a lot of work is being done in northern communities including Lynn Lake, Thompson and Garden Hill First Nation experiencing high case numbers. 


Of the total 27, 145 reported cases, 2, 907 are active, 23, 478 individuals have recovered, and 284 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care.

RCMP rescue man in Saskatchewan River

The Grand Rapids RCMP responded to a call for assistance at the bridge spanning the Saskatchewan River on Wednesday morning.


At the scene officers observed a man being carried downstream in the river by the strong current. The man was carried about 50 feet downriver before grabbing an ice edge to hang on too.


The victim was eventually rescued by the police and only had minor injuries.

Most northerners will get COVID-19 vaccine at TRCC, "super site" at airport relegated for residents of fly-in communities

The Manitoba government has changed its plans for a vaccination “super site” for the North only days after it was announced.


Some northern residents will still get their COVID-19 shots at Thompson's airport, but only people who live in fly-in communities.


Most northern residents will get their shots at the Thompson Community Recreation Centre.


Mayor Colleen Smook says the change makes more sense for people who live in the city of about 13,000.

Province expands Manitoba Bridge Grant to include more businesses

Premier Brian Pallister has announced the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline has been extended to the end of this month. 


The program offers support to small businesses, charities, not for profits and home based businesses affected by public health orders.


Pallister explains it’s now broadened to include more businesses such as hotels, resorts, lodges and outfitters, travel agencies, janitorial services companies, and owner/operators of licensed passenger transportation businesses.


They’ll be eligible for the five thousand dollr Bridge Grant for this year. Plus if they qualify, they will be eligible retroactively for the previous five thousand.


Visit, click on programs and then Manitoba Bridge Grant for more information.

COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in the Northern Health Region

Manitoba public health reported 259 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate back up to ten percent. 


They also reported two additional deaths, with one each in the Winnipeg region and Prairie Mountain region. 


Of the new cases, 139 are in Northern health, 75 in Winnipeg and 23 in Prairie Mountain with lower numbers in other regions.


Of the 26, 954 reported cases, 2, 866 are active, 23, 313 individuals have recovered, 290 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care and deaths now total 755.


Support from public health is being provided in Lynn Lake after they reported an outbreak with a total of 144 active cases being listed.

U of M ethics professor weighs in on handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic into 2021, a Manitoba ethicist talks about what lessons we should take from this pandemic once it’s behind us.


Arthur Schafer, the Director of the Centre of Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, says it’s not too early to learn from this pandemic and that it should teach us how to be better prepared should a similar situation arise in the future.


He explains that since we live a globalized society, new viruses will be much more likely to spread around the world, meaning that all levels of governments have to be prepared if another pandemic were to occur.


Schafer says another lesson to learn from this is for countries to work with the World Health Organization to better monitor and act quickly when a new virus is discovered.


For the full interview with Schafer, listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 both today and tomorrow afternoon.

COVID-19 case numbers are up In the North

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal reported 155 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon bringing the five day test positivity rate to 9.6 percent. 


He also reported five additional deaths with three in the Winnipeg region and one each in Prairie Mountain and Northern Health regions. 


Atwal says we are heading in the right direction but if we let up now all the hard work for the past several weeks could be for nothing, we could go back to where we started in November.


He says we need to do this in order to bring our numbers down further and reduce the strain on our health care system noting despite lower case number we’re not back to normal so we have to keep focusing on the fundamentals to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors and our co-workers.


Of the new cases, 61 are in Winnipeg and 70 in the Northern health region, with lower numbers in other regions.


Atwal noted the numbers include new cases reported in a couple of northern Manitoba communities with 37 in Lynn Lake and 14 in Thompson, related to larger households and among households, and steps are being taken to contain the spread of virus in these communities, as well as around 15 in First Nations communities.

Manitoba Chambers of Commerce offering info session to business owners on aid programs

There’s no arguing that 2020 was a difficult year for business owners, not just in Manitoba but around the globe.


President and CEO Chuck Davidson says many businesses had to close their doors at various point throughout the year, and hit some industries harder than others.


Davidson explains that the chamber has information for businesses on the different aid programs available to them, and will be holding an information session to help answer questions business owners may have.


For more information, visit, or listen to Thompson Today at 12:40 and 5:10 this afternoon.

Cross Lake give update on COVID-19 vaccinations in the community

Manitoba has begun shipping the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations communities as of last week.


MKO issued a statement on behalf of Pimicikamak Cree Nation, one of the communities to receive the vaccine on Thursday.


Chief David Monias says the first batch is designated to Elders aged 70 and older, Elders in care homes, and staff working in the Elder’s home, totaling 199 vaccines.


The community has less than 30 days to administer the vaccine to those eligible, and if there are people who refused the vaccine, doses will then be offered to those ages 69.


The province announced on Wednesday that First Nations communities across Manitoba would receive 53 hundred doses of the vaccine.

Manitoba Public Health Orders extended to Jan. 22

The Manitoba government has extended public health orders from January 8th until January 22nd.


The existing Critical/Red level restrictions have been extended by public health order, with a minor modification to allow exemptions for professional hockey. 


The updated orders will extend current exemptions to all professional hockey teams but will allow games to be played as well as training.  The teams will be required to follow strict protocols.    


Premier Brian Pallister says while we are starting to bend our COVID curve in the right direction, now is not the time to let up.  He urges Manitobans to follow the fundamentals, stay safe at home and limit your close contacts as much as possible.


The public health measures which continue in place close down non-essential businesses and limit close contacts with people to people within the same household.

Test positivity rate has dropped below 10% in Manitoba

Manitoba Public Health reported this afternoon 201 new cases of COVID-19, lowering the five day test positivity rate to 9.9 percent. 


They also reported 12 additional deaths with eight in Winnipeg, two in Prairie Mountain, and one each in the Northern and Southern health regions. 


Of the reported new cases, 105 are in Winnipeg and 60 in the Northern health region with lower number in other regions. 


Of the total 25, 742 reported cases 4, 506 are active, 20, 519 individuals have recovered, 319 are in hospital with 35 in intensive care and related deaths now total 717. 


Personal Care Home residents will soon be able to welcome loved ones for visits in the new COVisitation spaces which are being installed at 125 PCHs and other sites in the province.  Visits will be by appointment only with more details available from individual PCHs in the coming days.

Winnipeg swimming school offering free babysitting courses for youth across Manitoba this winter

Youth looking to become a certified babysitter have an opportunity to do so for free.


The Aqua Essence Swim Academy in Winnipeg will be offering the Red Cross Babysitting Course free of charge to 370 kids across Manitoba, thanks to the Safe at Home grant from the Province of Manitoba.


Rishona Hyman, the owner and instructor of the school, says the course is for participants between the ages of eleven and 15, and is taught by certified instructors using Zoom through four two-hour classes.


Hyman explains the course will teach the participants how to meet the needs of children of all ages, prevent and respond to emergencies, and promote themselves as a babysitter.


To register for the course or for more information, visit


You can also tune in to Thompson Today at 12;40 and 5:10 this afternoon for the full interview.

All personal care home residents are to be immunized in a 28 day campaign

Premier Brian Pallister has announced that in order to protect vulnerable Manitobans who are at greatest risk from COVID-19 Manitoba will launch a 28 day campaign.


The campaign will be to immunize all eligible personal care home residents at 135 sites across the province with the first doses of the vaccine. 


Pallister noted that by mid-March, every single eligible PCH resident will have received both doses and the fullest protection they can provide them with against this deadly virus.


The PCH immunization campaign begins on Jan. 11, and over the week focused immunization teams will visit seven locations in every regional health authority across the province to immunize 1, 157 people.  The only location mentioned for the week in the Northern Health Region is St. Paul’s Residence in The Pas.  Locations are selected by vulnerability of the site based on the number of residents as well as the percentage of shared beds.


The province has developed a week by week plan to immunize an estimated 9, 834 people living in PCHs across the province, with schedules release weekly.


Pallister also reported 5, 300 doses of the first Moderna Vaccine received will be sent to First Nations communities based on a plan developed with First Nations partners.

Province's top doctor says restriction changes will depend on holiday COVID-19 numbers

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 118 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, with a five day test positivity rate of 10.7 percent. 


Roussin also announced five additional deaths, all in the Winnipeg health region. 


He explains they are starting to see our case numbers come down, and while our restrictions are due for review, we need to ensure that this is not a time that we relax our efforts against the virus. 


Roussin notes our test positivity rates are still high, in addition to our hospitalization and ICU numbers,and it’s also too early to know the effects of gathering over the holidays will have on our numbers.


Roussin added the impact of those numbers will be part of their review of the current restrictions.


Of the new cases, 80 are in the Winnipeg region and 19 in Southern health with single digit numbers in other regions. There were five new cases announced in the Northern Health Region.


Of the reported total 25, 244 cases, 4, 423 are considered active, 20, 133 individuals have recovered, and 340 are in hospital with 41 in intensive care.


Currently, there are 978 active cases in the NRHA. Of that, 44 are in the Thompson/Mystery Lake District.


Active hospitalizations in the region are at 21, with four patients in ICU. The number of COVID-19 related deaths are at 21.

MP Ashton stripped of critic roles in federal NDP after travelling abroad during COVID-19

Another politician has been stripped of her portfolios for travelling abroad during the the COVID-19 pandemic.


The federal N-D-P says it will reassign the shadow cabinet positions formerly held by Niki Ashton, after it was revealed the Manitoba MP went to Greece to visit a seriously ill family member in defiance of COVID-19 guidelines against non-essential travel.


The party says Ashton reached out to Canadian officials for “best practices,” but did not notify leader Jagmeet Singh or the party whip of her travel plans.


A spokesperson for Ashton's office states she "followed all rules and guidelines with regards to her travel. They add that Canada deems entry for compassionate entries as part of essential travel, and Greece doesn't allow entry to Canadians without proof of the essential nature of their travel.

Province says plans are developing for First Nations to receive vaccines

Manitoba public health reported 187 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon with a five day test positivity rate of 11.2 percent. 


They also reported six additional deaths with four in the Winnipeg region and one each in Prairie Mountain and Southern health regions. 


Of the new cases 91 were in the Winnipeg region, 38 in Northern health and 33 in Southern health with lower numbers in the other regions.


Of the total 24, 700 reported cases, 4, 505 are active, 19, 528 individuals have recovered, and 337 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care.


With the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine expected to arrive in Manitoba this week the government is working in collaboration with experts in First Nations health to position immediately the first doses of vaccine for deployment to northern and remote communities across the province.

NCN easing some COVID-19 restrictions as of today as community shutdown continues

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation is easing some restrictions it’s put in place during its shutdown.


Chief Marcel Moody says NCN has been very lucky during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the one active case in the community has been resolved and close contacts have been cleared by their public health team.


Because the community has been following the rules, NCN have lifted some restrictions in place, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.


One of them includes the local store going back to regular hours as of today, with only 25 people allowed in the store at any time.


If there is another active case in the community, a full lockdown will go back into effect.

City of Thompson reminding residents to properly dispose of Christmas trees

For people ready to take down their Christmas trees after a low-key, festive weekend, the City of Thompson is reminding residents the best way to dispose of them.


Real Christmas trees can be dropped off at the TRCC behind the ball fields, which will then be used for the annual Winterfest bonfire.


Events Coordinator Darlene Dick says the bonfire will be done virtually this year due to current public health orders.


As for fake trees, the city says they will have to be taken to the landfill as they are not recyclable.

COVID-19 death reported in Thompson linked to outbreak in hospital ward

Manitoba Public Health reported 128 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, with the five day test positivity rate at 12.6 percent. 


They also reported two COVID related deaths: with one in Prairie Mountain and the other in the Northern health Region being a woman in her 70s linked to an outbreak at Thompson General Hospital MSP ward.


Of the new cases, 92 are in the Winnipeg region, 11 each in Interlake Eastern and Northern regions and eight each in Southern and Prairie Mountain health regions.


Of the 24, 513 reported cases 4, 444 are active, 19, 408 individuals have recovered, 337 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care and related deaths total 661.


In the Northern Health Region, there are 966 active cases, with 44 in the Thompson/Mystery Lake District, 86 in The Pas/OCN/Kelsey District, and two in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon District.


Currently there are 26 active hospitalizations, with four patients in ICU. With today's announcement, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the NRHA is now at 20.

Missing man from Pukatawagan found safe and sound

UPDATE: Scott Andrew Nicholas has been found safe and sound.


Local authorities are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing man from Pukatawagan.


On Dec. 16 at approximately 9:00 am, Thompson RCMP received a report of a missing 43-year-old male.


Scott Andrew Nicholas, of Pukatawagan, was last seen on Dec.16 at 9:00 am, leaving the Thompson General Hospital in Thompson.


Nicholas is described as 5’10”, 240 lbs, with short black hair, and was last seen wearing a black plaid jacket, black pants and black shoes.


Police are concerned for his well-being. If you have any information on his whereabouts please call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6911, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at

New COVID-19 cases and reported deaths are dropping in Manitoba

Manitoba Acting Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal reported 133 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, with a five-day test positivity rate of 12.4 percent. 


He also reported five additional deaths, with four in the Winnipeg region and one in Southern Health. 


Atwal says this is good news, but adds 133 cases and five deaths does not mean we can be careless with our actions, take the restrictions currently in place less seriously, go see friends and family outside our households, or host people this Thursday to celebrate the new year.  He explains that our hard work is starting to pay off, limiting our contacts and working from home is making a difference, and that we need to keep doing what we are doing.


Of the new cases, 97 are in Winnipeg Region, 22 in Southern Health and single digit numbers in other regions including three in Northern Health. 


Of the total 24, 385 reported cases, 4, 424 are active, 19, 302 individuals have recovered, and 338 are in hospital with 36 in intensive care.


In the Northern Health region, there are currently 963 active cases of COVID-19, with 45 in the Thompson/Mystrey Lke District, 85 in The Pas/OCN/Kelsey District, and two in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry/Sherridon District.


Additionally, there are 26 active hospitalizations with three patients in ICU. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the region remains at 19.



First Nations leaders still in the dark about vaccine distribution plans as Health Canada approve second COVID-19 vaccine

Last week, MKO responded to the announcement of Health Canada approving the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.


Echoing past statements, Grand Chief Garrison Settee says MKO still has no information about when either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine will be distributed or made available to MKO citizens.


Settee specifically asked about when off-reserve First Nations people living in Winnipeg will receive the vaccine, and if health care workers from First Nations communities will get access to the vaccine anytime soon.


He once again requested clearer and ongoing communication from the province to ensure First Nations leadership are in the loop when it comes to distribution plans for First Nations communities.

COVID-19 numbers continued to climb over the holiday weekend

Manitoba Public Health reported 631 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday to Monday. 


They also reported 37 additional deaths, with 28 in the Winnipeg region, three each in the Northern and Southern regions, two in Interlake Eastern, and one in Prairie Mountain. 


Of the new cases, 288 are in the Winnipeg region, 119 in Northern and 106 in Interlake Eastern, with lower numbers in other regions. 


Of the 24, 252 reported cases, 4, 442 are active, 19, 156 individuals have recovered, 343 are in hospital with 37 in intensive care and related deaths total 654. 


An outbreak has been declared at St. Paul’s Personal Care Home in The Pas and has moved to code Critical/Red.




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