Flooding, snow and coronavirus: City of Winnipeg to update responses Thursday afternoon

The City of Winnipeg has scheduled an update on its response to the snowstorm, potential spring flooding, and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak Thursday.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman will be joined by the head of the city’s emergency response centre and the city’s interim chief financial officer at a 3 p.m. press conference at City Hall.

Global News will endeavor to stream the event live here on our website.

At a spring flooding update Tuesday the province said there’s a risk of moderate flooding on the Red River this spring, depending on weather conditions.

The city said Wednesday that 57 properties are at potential risk of flooding this spring, before a late-season storm started blanketing the city with snow later that same day. The white stuff has continued to fall throughout the day Thursday and is expected to carry on until Friday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a snowfall warning for much of southern Manitoba earlier in the week, calling for as much as 20 cm of snow to accumulate in Winnipeg by Friday.

On Thursday Manitoba health officials announced 40 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the province’s number of probable and confirmed cases to 167.

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One person has died, five people have been hospitalized and 11 have recovered.

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 the city has closed down amenities like picnic areas and playgrounds at city-owned parks and this week announced all city-owned athletic fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and skate parks won’t open this spring.

At a press conference Wednesday Bowman pleaded with Winnipeggers to stay indoors and practice physical distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.

On Friday council will hold a special meeting to look at implementing a property and business tax referral program during the pandemic and consider Bowman’s recommendation to declare a state of local emergency under the Emergency Measures Act.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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