WINNIPEG - Two schools in the same school division are joining twelve other schools across the province in a move to virtual classes as a result of COVID-19.
Officials at École South Pointe and École St. Avila say they’re making the switch to keep students home for two weeks after consulting with Shared Health, and will begin online classes on Monday. School administrators note that they’re working to ensure contact tracing and self-isolating is being carried out as needed.
Pembina Trails School Division says they made the decision in an effort to avoid staff shortages and minimize transmission among students and families, and in support of public health guidelines. The division continues to provide in-school classes for children of critical service staff in K-6.
The Manitoba government says there are more than 300 cases of COVID-19 in 151 of the province’s 814 schools. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says, although most of the transmission isn’t happening on school grounds, contract tracing has revealed the virus is spreading elsewhere in places where there’s close prolonged indoor contact, such as house parties and sleepovers.
Health Sciences Centre pediatric infectious diseases section head Dr. Jared Bullard says recent lab analysis suggests that children are about half as infectious as adults, but parents and adults can and do bring infections into the household, and can easily pass it on to their children.