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Coronavirus: Manitoba schools to close for three weeks starting March 23

Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba announces school closures for three weeks
Manitoba’s Minister of Education Kelvin Goertzen announced on Friday that they would be suspending classes in Manitoba for three weeks, beginning Monday, March 23. Goertzen stated that they believe their schools are safe, but are “acting in an abundance of caution” to lessen the effects of COVID-19 throughout the province.

Update, 2:20 p.m.:

All elementary, junior high and high schools are to be closed for three weeks, starting March 23.

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Premier Brian Pallister said he spoke with his counterparts across the country along with the Prime Minister and said he understands the fears people are feeling.

Dr. Brent Roussin, who is the chief provincial health officer, said the week delay before closing is to allow schools and parents prepare.

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“After discussions we’ve decided to err on the side of caution,” said Pallister.

Pallister said daycares will not be affected at the moment, but they are considering closing them too.

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Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said he believes the schools are safe, but parents may make their own decision about sending their children to schools next week.

Brandon University also suspended classes for the next week.

Coronavirus outbreak: Health official says ‘all Manitobans have a role to play’ in limiting virus spread
Coronavirus outbreak: Health official says ‘all Manitobans have a role to play’ in limiting virus spread

Original Story:

The University of Winnipeg has suspended its winter term in the wake of presumed novel coronavirus cases in Manitoba.

“The time to act is now so that we may help preserve the health and safety of the UWinnipeg community,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, president of the U of W.

“All in-person classes and labs will be suspended for the remainder of the winter term.We are fortunate to be near the end of term, April 3. Our goal is to support students in successfully completing their courses. By March 20, we will communicate our completion plans to students through webmail.”

Red River College is also taking measures with a declared “study week” next week.

READ MORE: University of Manitoba, Red River College look at moving classes online, other methods in wake of novel coronavirus

Dr. Christine Watson, the college’s interim president, sent a memo to staff Friday.

“I want you to know that the safety of our College community is our highest priority. For that reason, Red River College will implement a Study Week for Students, effective at the end of today, and continuing through next week.

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“This will help us follow public health advice to reduce numbers on campus and give faculty and staff time to develop alternative delivery models for College programs and services.”

The University of Manitoba has not cancelled classes outright, but the majority of them have been moved online.

One school in Manitoba in Sandy Bay First Nation has already closed its school.

The province of Manitoba is having an update Friday afternoon with Premier Brian Pallister, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen, Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer.