Winnipeg student with COVID-19 ‘did everything they were supposed to do,’ top doctor says

By | September 10, 2020

The first positive COVID-19 case identified in Manitoba’s school system is a student who attended the first day of class on Tuesday while asymptomatic and “did everything that they were supposed to do,” says Manitoba’s top doctor.

The Grade 7 student at Churchill High School was one of the 16 cases identified by the province on Wednesday.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference Thursday the student attended the school briefly on Tuesday, the first day of classes.

The student had gone for a test prior to Tuesday and was asymptomatic, Roussin said. Asymptomatic people aren’t required to self-isolate after testing.

“Everything in this situation was done correctly,” said Roussin. “There wasn’t anything that this individual did wrong, and so I would encourage people to accept that.”

Roussin repeated in the weeks leading up to September that it was inevitable COVID-19 would surface in the school system.

The student in this case was not a close contact of a known case, but Roussin would not say whether the case is technically an example of community transmission.

Churchill High School principal Ryan Hughes said there were 13 other students in the class on Tuesday. The student left around lunch time, he said.

The school underwent sanitization and remained open Thursday because public health officials and the division deemed the risk of transmission to others as low.

The student had worn a mask on a Winnipeg Transit bus to school and did so while in class as well, officials said. The student had no close contacts, so no one has been told to self-isolate.

Churchill High School has not been elevated under Manitoba’s colour-coded COVID-19 response system due to the low risk and lack of close contacts, according to the province.

All Manitoba schools remain at the yellow “caution” level.

More to come

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