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Stricter Health Restrictions Coming to Winnipeg Area Schools

October 22, 2020 1:11 PM | News


A vacant teachers desk is pictured at the front of an empty classroom is pictured at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

WINNIPEG — New health restrictions are coming to Winnipeg schools next week as cases of COVID-19 soar in the city and surrounding area.

The province announced Thursday schools in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and the Northern health regions will be moving to the orange (restricted) level effective October 26.

The additional measures are as follows:

• Schools must ensure two metres of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, and adjust classroom space as necessary; excess furniture must be removed from classrooms to create additional space; and other spaces within schools must be repurposed to accommodate more distancing (e.g., multipurpose rooms, empty rooms, shared spaces, common areas and libraries).
• Extracurricular activities are only permitted if all learning and distancing requirements have been met. If these activities continue, established guidelines must be followed and, in the case of sports, participants should maintain distance when not active.
• Teachers and staff who move across cohorts of students, including substitute teachers, are required to wear medical masks. Medical-grade disposable masks have been issued to all schools. N95 masks are not required.
• Indoor choir and the use of wind instruments are not permitted.
• All field trips must be postponed or cancelled.
• Blended learning (in-class and online) for grades 9 to 12 where distancing cannot be achieved will continue as per status quo.
• Kindergarten to Grade 8 students may be offered a temporary remote learning option for the duration of the Restricted level (orange).
• All other public health measures will still in effect.

A record four new deaths were announced Thursday, as well as 147 new cases of the virus.