As Manitoba recorded its 23rd death caused by COVID-19 and announced 36 new cases of the virus Sunday, some people spent hours waiting to be tested.
By early afternoon, Winnipeggers were being turned away from some testing sites, while others faced long lineups and no guarantee they’d be tested before closing time. A new mobile testing site at 1181 Portage Ave., which opened last week, saw light traffic early after it opened Sunday morning, but it reached maximum capacity shortly after 1 p.m., and was shut down to incoming drivers nearly three hours before it was set to close for the day.
Crowd-sourced average wait times at COVID-19 testing sites
Click to Expand
As of 4 p.m. Sunday
604 St. Mary’s Road: 3 hours
1284 Main St.: 1 hour
2735 Pembina Highway: 1 hour
1181 Portage Ave: One user reported being turned away
To see crowd-sourced testing site wait times and report your own, go to https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/covid-testing-sites/
The MPI drive-thru testing site at 1284 Main St. began redirecting people around 2 p.m., as a double lane of more than a dozen vehicles snaked around the building. Staff on site didn’t answer questions about wait times, but before the drive-thru was closed to new traffic, drivers were handed a list of addresses for other testing sites, and were told they had no guarantee of being tested that afternoon if they chose to wait in line.
On Sunday, provincial public-health officials announced a man in his 50s is Manitoba’s 23rd COVID-19-related fatality. They also warned of potential exposure to the virus in Little Grand Rapids First Nation, where several people tested positive after attending the community’s recreation centre from Sept. 24 to 27. It’s the second batch of confirmed positive cases of the virus in a Manitoba First Nations community, following positive results last weekend for a family in York Factory First Nation. After 19 new cases were reported at Little Grand Rapids, that community is now in lockdown, with public gatherings prohibited and restrictions in place that correspond with the red/critical phase in the provincial government’s pandemic response system.
New confirmed cases totalled 36 on Sunday, but four previously announced cases were determined to be false positives, which brings the total number of active cases in Manitoba to 696. Most of the cases announced Sunday — 23 — are in Winnipeg. Seven are in the Southern health region; five in Interlake-Eastern, and one in Prairie Mountain health region. On Saturday, 2,103 COVID-19 tests were completed across the province.
Public-health officials also warned Sunday that passengers on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg may have been exposed to the virus on Sept. 27. They’re requiring passengers who were on flight 296 and sat in rows 27 to 31 to self-isolate for two weeks. Others who were on the flight but didn’t sit in those rows don’t need to self-isolate unless they develop symptoms, according to a provincial news release.
Meanwhile, several Winnipeg restaurants are reporting patrons may have been exposed to the virus. People should monitor for symptoms (and self-isolate and get tested if they have symptoms) after visiting Hooters Restaurant at 1501 St. Matthews Ave. on Sept. 24 from 4 to 11 p.m.; Bourbon Billiards at 241 Vaughan St. on Sept. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Earls Polo Park at 1455 Portage Ave. on Sept. 25 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Montana’s Polo Park at 665 Empress St. on Sept. 25 from 9 to 10 p.m.; and Crspy Bnch on 806 Sargent Ave. on Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. until noon.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.
Coronavirus: Alberta's top doctor says "we have a challenge" as 1440 cases confirmed over weekend – Global News
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Cenovus Energy shares plummet on news of its $3.8B deal to buy Husky Energy
The all-share deal by Cenovus Energy Inc. to buy Husky Energy Inc. for about $3.8 billion will likely spark more mega-mergers among Canadian oil and gas majors, according to a veteran oilsands analyst.
“This is likely just the start of big deals in Canadian energy land and thus it begs the question of who is next?” said analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital in a report on Monday.
“As seen in the U.S. with the accelerated M&A activity, when there’s one meaningful transaction, there’s likely more to come.”
Several industry observers point to Calgary-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Inc. as the leading potential target, noting Husky’s failed $3.3-billion hostile takeover attempt of its smaller rival two years ago.
In his report, Skolnick presents scenarios where Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (sometimes referred to by its stock ticker, CNQ) or Imperial Oil Ltd. buy MEG, while also outlining the numbers involved if Canadian Natural combined with Imperial or Suncor Energy Inc., and if Suncor were to merge with Imperial.
“Some (scenarios) have been asked about before and I was just bringing up some new ones _ like a CNQ and Suncor merger is not something I’ve heard out there, but nor was Cenovus-Husky,” he said in an interview.
“I’m not going to give zero chance to anything anymore.”
Analysts generally applauded the surprise Cenovus-Husky hookup announced Sunday for its operational advantages but criticized the plus-20-per-cent premium in the price for Husky.
“The deal does makes strategic sense,” said Manav Gupta of Credit Suisse in a note to investors.
“Like U.S. E&P (exploration and production companies), Canadian energy companies also need to come together, cut costs and become leaner to better adapt to lower energy demand in post pandemic world.”
He said Cenovus’s reputation as an efficient operator in its steam-driven oilsands projects will help Husky overcome its struggles with operational issues, including higher operating and administrative costs.
The companies have identified $1.2 billion in potential annual cost savings which will include workforce reductions.
But Gupta added the premium is “excessive” and joined other observers in predicting Cenovus shares would trade lower, as they did, falling by as much as 15 per cent to $4.15 in Monday trading in Toronto before closing down 8.4 per cent at $4.47.
Husky, meanwhile, gained as much as 14.2 per cent to $3.62 before closing up 12 per cent at $3.55 .
Husky shareholders are to receive 0.7845 of a Cenovus share plus 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share if the deal is concluded.
Cenovus shareholders would own about 61 per cent of the combined company and Husky shareholders about 39 per cent.
The transaction must be approved by at least two-thirds of Husky’s shareholders but Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing controls 70 per cent of Husky’s shares and has agreed to vote them in favour of the deal.
The announcement Sunday came just as Calgary’s oilsands companies are about to start rolling out third-quarter financial results, with Suncor Energy Inc. set to report Wednesday and both Cenovus and Husky scheduled to report on Thursday.
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Ant Group raises $34.4 billion in the biggest IPO of all time – CNBC Television
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