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Manitoba Closing Schools March 23 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 13, 2020 2:39 PM | News

WINNIPEG — Manitoba is suspending classes in all schools for three weeks to get ahead of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen says classes will be suspended starting Monday, March 23, which includes one week over spring break.

He says the decision was made for the health and well-being of all Manitobans.

“We believe that our schools are safe,” Goertzen said.

“However, the experience in other provinces and other parts of the world tells us that proactive measures lessen the impact of the spread of COVID-19.”

He says officials want to stay ahead of the virus that has caused a world-wide pandemic.

Teachers will still be expected to remain on the job during school closures.

Manitoba is dealing with three presumptive cases of COVID-19, all of which appear to be travel-related.

On Friday, Red River College announced it would be implementing a study week for students and staff effective at the end of today through next week.

“One of the key recommendations from public health is to reduce the number of people at gatherings – and this includes our campuses,” said Dr. Christine Watson, interim president and CEO of RRC.

“Study Week for students will allow us to immediately reduce our numbers and allow staff and faculty to focus on developing plans for alternative delivery when classes resume.

The University of Winnipeg has also suspended all in-person classes and labs for the remainder of the winter term, which ends on April 3.

In Brandon, officials at Brandon University have suspended classes and on-campus events starting Friday evening for one week.

BU will operate in a similar fashion to reading week, with offices, services and the library remaining open.

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— With files from The Canadian Press