Manitoba Government moves entire province to Critical (Red):

The Province of Manitoba has announced that Manitoba’s public health officials will be elevating the Restart MB Pandemic Response System level for the entire province to Critical (Red) effective Thursday, November 12, with new measures being put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The government’s announced that these restrictions will remain in place likely for at least four weeks.

You can view the details of the announcement here: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=49737&posted=2020-11-10

Impact on construction sites:

Construction continues to be deemed essential to the economy and gathering limits do not apply to workplaces. Workplaces such as construction sites (both new and renovation) must continue to follow sector specific guidance. (Please see the “Preventative Measures” section below).

Impact on suppliers:

Businesses supporting and serving the construction industry continue to be deemed essential to the economy and may continue to operate. Those suppliers with retail stores/show rooms open to the general public must limit their store/show room capacity to 25%.

Impact on City of Winnipeg Inspections:

The City of Winnipeg has suspended inspections in occupied buildings and homes since October 19th and will remain in effect. This suspension has no impact on new construction. The City of Winnipeg will keep appointments currently scheduled and facilitate through Google Duo or FaceTime, but will pause scheduling any new in-person inspections until approved to do so.

At this time, the City does not know how long the suspension will be in place. They indicate that it is dependent on how long the increased provincial restrictions remain in place.

The City of Winnipeg has re-assessed AVI program requirements with the goal of meeting the needs of the Inspections team and making the program easier to use for builders.

Effective immediately, when submitting a request for an AVI, the declaration and basic floor plan are all that’s required to be uploaded. We have removed plan submission requirements for HVAC (ductwork), electrical device locations & circuitry, and egress window dimensions. Underground plumbing drawings are the only additional requirement for all underground work.

The revised program information and checklist have now been updated on Winnipeg.ca:

www.winnipeg.ca/ppd/inspections/Residential/AlternateVideoInspections.stm www.winnipeg.ca/ppd/Documents/inspections/Residential/AlternatVideoInspections/Alternate-Video-Inspections-Applicant-Checklist.pdf

Please note that Inspectors may take longer during inspections, to ask more questions, or request to see some of the features that were previously submitted in drawings. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Marcia Fifer at the City of Winnipeg via email at mfifer@winnipeg.ca.

Impact on offices:

Are masks required in office settings?

Mask requirements will apply to any location where the general public has access. If a meeting occurs in a workplace, to which the general public would not have access, the workplace must follow sector-specific guidance but would not be subject to the new mask requirement.  

How will mask use requirements apply to small meetings?  

Mask requirements will apply to any location where the general public has access. If a meeting occurs in a workplace, to which the general public would not have access, the workplace must follow sector-specific guidance but would not be subject to the new mask requirement.  

Impact on MHBA’s Office and Operations:

Since September 28th and until further notice, the MHBA offices is closed to the public. The following measures will remain in place:

  • -No visitors to the office;
  • -No in-person meetings at the office;
  • -Work-from-home and/or work rotation scheduling in place for all staff;
  • -Physical distancing required for staff who are in the office.

MHBA COVID-19 Resources for Members:

As the COVID-19 event continues to unfold, the MHBA has set up a dedicated web page, https://www.homebuilders.mb.ca/mhba-covid-19-resource-page/, to ensure you have quick access to important information necessary to help you and your businesses navigate this tumultuous time.  

This dedicated page includes links to the MHBA’s COVID-19 updates, plus a variety of health and business resources and will be updated as new information and resources are made available. We will still continue providing updates to you via email as new information becomes available to keep you as informed as possible.

CSAM has also updated its resource page with additional information. You can visit the CSAM page at https://www.constructionsafety.ca/covid-19-and-manitobas-construction-industry/ 

Preventative Measures:

Collectively, Manitoba’s residential construction industry must continue to take as many preventative measures as possible to help protect their employees and help ensure business continuity against COVID-19. 

Our industry must also demonstrate the protocols, as the public, our workers, and the government are definitely watching. Companies that do not implement these measures are not only putting their own business activities at risk, they are putting all residential construction activities at risk. 

The MHBA strongly recommends that all of our members implement these measures, whether in your offices, showrooms, worksites or show homes.

  • -If any employee or trade has any flu-like symptoms, no matter how minor, have them stay home
  • -Limit the number of trades working at one time on your worksites and have your trades strictly adhere to this directive; 
  • -Practice social distancing measures in all of your workplaces and worksites;
  • -Keep hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes stocked and available if possible;
  • -Have workers sanitize their hands frequently during the day;
  • -Have show homes/rooms available only by appointment to ensure your company is following the Public Health Authority’s guidelines;
  • -Continue to be diligent in implementing the COVID-19 precautions that were implemented for show homes during the Fall Parade of Homes. This includes ensuring all visitors fill out the pre-screening questionnaire as contact tracing is critically important in light of the current situation.
  • -The use of masks are mandatory for all visitors and agents at show homes as per the Public Health order;
  • -Enable those staff who can work from home to do so;
  • -Disinfect frequently used surfaces (Door knobs, countertops, handrails, etc.) on a regular basis;
  • -Post signage at entrances to worksites, your business and show home/rooms asking those who have recently travelled internationally or those who have any flu-like symptoms to not enter; 
  • -Avoid greetings that involve touching, including shaking hands; 
  • -Wash your hands properly and frequently; and
  • -Provide disposable towels/napkins should people wash their hands in your show home/workplace. Please do not use reusable (regular) towels in your bathrooms.

Please share this update and discuss these important measures with your staff. Site Supervisors should also share and discuss this information with all trades on site.

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