Manitoba health officials reported 23 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday — including 20 in Winnipeg.
The latest cases, including two in the Interlake-Eastern health region and one in the Northern health region, bring the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in Manitoba since March to 1,489.
Manitoba’s chief public officer of health, Dr. Brent Roussin said there have now been six new confirmed cases connected to John Pritchard School in Winnipeg, bringing the total number of cases reported at the school since schools reopened across the province last week to seven.
School officials announced earlier in the day students in Grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as a split Grade 4 and 5 class at the school will move entirely to remote learning for an estimated two weeks.
Roussin said the province is also moving the school into the orange, or restricted level, of the province’s pandemic response system.
School officials sent a letter telling parents of students at John Pritchard about the changes Tuesday night noting they would start immediately.
A spokesperson for the River East Transcona school division says public health investigations are ongoing, and all other students are continuing with in-class learning.
Manitoba students returned to class Sept. 8 and schools were aiming to have full-time in-class learning for children up to Grade 8.
Since then the province has warned about possible COVID-19 exposures at several schools in Winnipeg and Brandon.
Possible exposures have been reported at Churchill High School, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, Beaverlodge School, St. Aiden’s Christian School, and John Pritchard School in Winnipeg, as well as Ecole New Era School in Brandon.
As of Wednesday Manitoba has 283 active cases of COVID-19. Nine people are in hospital with the virus, including three in intensive care. Sixteen Manitobans have died due to the novel coronavirus since March.
Further possible exposures
Health officials reported several other possible exposures in Winnipeg at a Wednesday press conference.
They say the exposures were possible Sept. 5 at Tavern United, 1405 St. Matthew Ave., U Putz at 423 McPhillips, McPhillips Street Station Casino, and Hampton Inn at 730 Berry St. There was another potential exposure Sept. 6 at Polo Park shopping centre, health officials said.
The exposures are related to a previously announced case, Roussin said.
Meanwhile an outbreak has been declared at another personal care home in Winnipeg.
Roussin said the province has moved Parkview Place Long Term Care Home at 440 Edmonton St. in Winnipeg into the red, or critical, level of the province’s pandemic response system after a possible exposure involving a health-care worker was reported Sept. 11 and 12.
He said further information has been shared with families and staff, and an investigation into the case is ongoing.
More information on possible exposures are available on the province’s website.
Outbreaks have previously been declared at several personal care homes across the province, including Bethesda Place in Steinbach, where two elderly residents died from the virus last month.
Read more: COVID-19 in three Manitoba care homes
The province lifted visitation restrictions at long term care facilities in June.
On Tuesday the province announced plans to build outdoor visitation spaces at personal care homes across Manitoba.
The all-season shelters for personal care homes will be built using old shipping containers and are expected to be operational by November.
–With files from The Canadian Press
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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