COVID-19 case confirmed at New Era School in Brandon, province says

By | September 12, 2020

A case of COVID-19 was confirmed at a school in Brandon on Saturday — the second case in a Manitoba school identified during the first week of classes.

The new case is connected to a Grade 5 and 6 classroom in École New Era School at 527 Louise Ave., Brandon School Division superintendent Marc Casavant said in a news release Saturday.

The person who later tested positive for the illness was at the K-8 school on Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the province said in a news release.

They did not have symptoms of COVID-19 while in class. The public health investigation into the case suggests the person did not contract the illness at school, the province’s release said.

The school and the person’s cohort are being notified, and more cleaning of high-touch areas is being done, the release said. Neither the province nor the school division specified whether the sick person was a student or staff.

The risk at the school is considered low, since the person practised physical distancing and wore a mask, according to the province. There are no close contacts linked to the case. People who were at the school on Friday should watch for symptoms, but don’t need to self-isolate.

The first case of COVID-19 identified at a school in Manitoba was announced earlier this week, when a Grade 7 student at Churchill High School tested positive for the illness.

The province also announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Saturday.

The update brings Manitoba’s active COVID-19 caseload to 238.

Eight of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, while five are in the Interlake-Eastern Health region, the release said. There are another two each in the Prairie Mountain Health and Southern Health regions.

Eight of the new cases are close contacts of a known case of COVID-19, the release said. More information will be released if there’s a risk to public health.

Most of Manitoba’s new COVID-19 cases have been linked to close contacts of the illness, provincial data shows. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Health centre exposure

Two previously announced COVID-19 cases have been identified as a health-care worker and an outpatient at the Carberry Plains Health Centre, the release said. Several staff at the health centre in the town, about 45 kilometres east of Brandon, have been deemed close contacts and are required to self-isolate and watch for symptoms.

The site has been moved to the red, or critical, level under the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

Because of the staffing issues caused by those people staying home from work, the site was closed to acute and emergency care late Friday, the release said. It’s expected to reopen on Sept. 24.

Patients have been moved to other sites in the area, the release said, and information is being shared with community members about other options for care.

There have been no exposures linked to the nearby personal care home, the release said.

Four of Saturday’s 17 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba were people under the age of 20, according to provincial data. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

The province also announced several other possible exposures to the illness in Winnipeg.

A person who took Winnipeg Transit routes 11 and 14 on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 has since tested positive for COVID-19, the release said. They rode the bus from around 8:00 to 8:20 a.m. and 7:30 to 7:50 p.m. each day.

The City of Winnipeg confirmed in a news release the person was a passenger.

Exposures at two Winnipeg restaurants were also announced on Saturday.

That included exposures at the Ibex Restaurant and Lounge at 626 Sargent Ave. on Sept. 5 from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., and on Sept. 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Another exposure was at the Smitty’s restaurant at 1017 St. James St. between 10 and 11 a.m. on Sept. 6.

The exposure risk at these sites is considered low, the release said, but anyone who was on those bus routes or at those restaurants should watch for symptoms and get tested if they get sick.

There are now 13 people hospitalized with the illness in Manitoba, including four in intensive care.

The province’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is now 1.4 per cent, the release said.

Eight of Saturday’s 17 new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, the province said. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

To date, there have been 1,410 cases of COVID-19 detected in Manitoba. Sixteen people have died and 1,156 have recovered, the release said.

On Friday, the illness caused by the new coronavirus was detected for the first time on Manitoba First Nations. Fisher River Cree Nation announced a probable case in its community that afternoon, Peguis First Nation announced two more later that evening.

Cases of COVID-19 in Winnipeg were also broken down into 12 districts on Friday, following demand from Manitobans to know more about where people with the illness live in the city.

Saturday marks six months since the first COVID-19 cases were identified in Manitoba.

On Friday, 1,424 more COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba, the release said, bringing the total number of tests completed in the province since early February to 153,231.

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