Province confirms 6 more COVID-19 cases at Winnipeg school

By | September 16, 2020

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg school has moved to a restricted level, and a number of students have been sent home for temporary remote learning after six new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed to be in the school.

On Wednesday, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced six new cases were identified at the John Pritchard School in Winnipeg’s North Kildonan area, bringing the total number of cases in the school to seven.

The province said the following cohorts have been transitioned to remote learning as of Wednesday:

  • Grade 4/5 split;
  • Grades 6, 7 and 8; and
  • Henderson Early Learning Centre (before-and-after school program).

The province said all other grades and cohorts remain at the school for in-class learning.

Roussin said the cohorts sent home have been asked to self-isolate. He said the province is considering these cases to have been contracted within the school. He said this is the first scenario of transmission within the school.

“We have a single cohort that was mostly involved. There was a single individual outside of that cohort that we’re unable to link to that cohort – so it sure could be unrelated, but that is why there is more than one cohort involved in the self-isolation,” he said

Parents received a letter on Tuesday informing them that the groups would be sent home for remote learning. The letter goes on to say that remote learning arrangements for the aforementioned groups will continue for 14 days and that this length of time may be shortened or lengthened as required.

Roussin said the school has been moved to the orange restricted level in the province’s pandemic response system, due to the number of cases and contacts involved. He said parents were notified and additional cleaning of the high-touch areas was completed.

“Public health investigations will continue to determine the transmission chains of this virus,” he said. “Any close contacts or connections to the cases have been identified and contacted and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Roussin said others who were at the school do not need to self-isolate, but should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

“We’ve said for weeks now that we knew that there would be cases in schools,” said Manitoba’s Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen on Wednesday.

CTV News has reached out to the River East Transcona School Division for comment.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

– With files from CTV’s Tim Salzen and Bobbi-Jo Stanley.

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