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Top doc hints at Manitoba’s back-to-school plans

Manitoba health officials give a COVID-19 update.

Manitoba’s top doctor gave few hints about what school may look like in the fall Monday but said the full plan will likely come out next week.

“We know the return to school is so important – our goal is really to get the kids back to school … as normal as possible this fall,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief health officer.

Read more: Manitoba divisions complete air system upgrades as new school year looms

Currently, there are no plans for mandatory vaccinations for teachers and students, he said.

He added that more details will be released on the plan shortly but the recommendation is for anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated, should get the shot.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba vaccine task force shifting gears' Manitoba vaccine task force shifting gears
Manitoba vaccine task force shifting gears – Jul 21, 2021

“The more people who are vaccinated around those who cannot be vaccinated, the safer it’ll be.”

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Manitoba reported 11 new COVID-19 infections Monday, the lowest number since the fall. There were no new deaths reported. Manitoba’s COVID-19 death toll sits at 1,172 and, since March 2020, the province has reported 57,456 cases of the virus.

Read more: COVID-19: Manitoba reports 62 new infections, death toll rises by one

With case numbers dropping, Roussin hinted the next stage of reopening could come sooner than expected.

Roussin did not say when restrictions would be loosened, but says vaccines are reducing the number of cases and the pressures on the health-care system.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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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.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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