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Manitoba yet to post data on COVID-19 cases in schools

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As kids across Manitoba get settled back into the classroom a provincial website dedicated to tracking COVID-19 cases in schools has yet to come back from summer vacation.

Schools started welcoming students back Sept. 8, but as of Monday an online dashboard listing cases among school staff and school-aged children remained “on pause.”

Read more: All Manitoba students to head back to classrooms in September

Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says health officials are tracking cases, but couldn’t say how many infections have been reported since schools reopened last week.

“We’re just days into the school year, so a number of cases that are in school age children have not been at school during their infective period,” he said at a Monday press availability.

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“But we are going to have more details on that and hope to have a regular posting of it.”

Launched during the last school year, the province’s dashboard keeps track of total cases reported among school-aged kids and school staff over the previous 14 days.

Read more: ‘Clear as mud’: Manitoba teachers, students prepare for uncertain 2021 school year

It also breaks cases down between students and staff and lists schools with one or more cases.

A notice on the site Monday reads “Updates to the dashboard are paused for the summer. They will resume mid-September.”

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Roussin couldn’t say Monday exactly when the site would begin to be updated again.

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In the meantime Roussin reminded parents to keep their kids home from school if they’re sick.

Read more: 3 largest post-secondary schools in Manitoba to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff

He said he’s already hearing reports of schools having to send student home because they’re showing COVID-19 symptoms.

“We can’t have people going to school or work to have symptoms of COVID,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot of transmission if we continue to do that.”

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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.

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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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