WINNIPEG — Staff and students at Churchill High School returned to class Thursday morning, a day after the province confirmed a student tested positive for COVID-19. It is the first known case at a Manitoba school.
“We were preparing for the first day since our staff came back,“ said Churchill High School Principal Ryan Hughes. “The reality is this was going to happen in our school, just like it’s going to happen in many schools.”
According to the Manitoba government, the Grade 7 student with COVID-19 went to school and took Winnipeg Transit on Tuesday, the first day back to school. The student was asymptomatic and wore a mask while in class and on the bus.
Manitoba public health notified the school Wednesday and the principal said parents were contacted immediately after.
Hughes also said Room 20, the classroom the student was in, is being sanitized.
“That room had been disinfected three times before we even realized a situation was happening in that classroom,” he said. “The division is sending out further support to sanitize the space to make sure it’s deep cleaned.”
The student was part of a cohort. Hughes said there were 15 students in Room 20 and all of them were wearing masks and kept their distance.
Manitoba public health said the risk to other students is low and is not recommending the students in the cohort self-isolate.
“We think the controls we have in place are strong,” said Hughes. “That helped minimize the exposure risk.”
Radean Carter, senior information officer for the Winnipeg School Division, couldn’t confirm whether the infected student was waiting for COVID-19 test results when they came to school but said it is “vitally important” that anyone coming to the school do a self-assessment before entering the building.
“One of the questions is whether or not you’ve had contact with somebody who is a positive case and then follow those instructions,” she said.
“We can only do our best by following the public health guidelines and keeping each other safe.”
The province is expected to provide a COVID-19 update at 1 pm. We will update this story when more information becomes available.
– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.
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