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Manitoba Schools Reopen with Calls for More Safety Measures

January 17, 2022 7:55 AM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

School Bus - Students

Students board a school bus as they return to classes near Cremona, Alta., on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba students are to return to classrooms today for the first time since the holiday break.

Classes were shifted to remote learning last week to give schools more time to beef up safety measures to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Those measures include having more rapid tests and masks available, and physical distancing as much as possible.

The Progressive Conservative government says some improvements, including ventilation upgrades at many schools, are still being worked on.

The government says the Omicron variant is spreading so rapidly that health officials will no longer notify close contacts of infected people in schools, but will monitor outbreaks and absenteeism.

In its update on Friday, the province said the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 was still rising.

The total number of people in intensive care, including non-COVID cases, was 102 — 30 above normal pre-pandemic capacity.

CP - The Canadian Press