No cases of COVID-19 have been found in northern Manitoba tied to schools, but Winnipeg and Brandon have not had the same luck.
The first new COVID-19 case of the school year was found in Churchill High School in Winnipeg, just one day after the year began Sept. 8. The student’s classes and cohort were notified and the portions of the school where the student attended were cleaned by school custodial staff.
“The risk is deemed low as physical distancing was maintained while at school and a mask was worn on the bus and in school the entire time. There are no close contacts connected to the case and Public Health has not advised anyone to self-isolate,” the province announced in a COVID-19 update Sept. 9.
On Sept. 12, another possible exposure was found in a school in Brandon. A possible exposure was found at Ecole New Era School in Brandon Sept. 11 from 8:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The province considers the case to be low-risk - the person who tested positive kept socially distant and wore a mask, with no close contacts associated with the case.
“The individual attended school for a limited time while asymptomatic. The public health investigation indicates that transmission was not acquired at school. The school and cohort are being notified. Additional cleaning of high-touch areas is being undertaken out of an abundance of caution,” read a Sept. 12 update from the provincial government.
Another pair of cases were reported Sept. 13, with possible exposures at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate and Pritchard School in Winnipeg. The McIntyre case involved someone who came to the school Sept. 9 in the morning and Sept. 10 in the afternoon and did not show symptoms, while the Pritchard case involved someone at the school in the morning and afternoon from Sept. 8-10 who was also asymptomatic. Both are considered low-risk by health officials - both people wore masks and kept physical distance.
Yet another case was reported at the Beaverlodge School in Winnipeg Sept. 14, with the person having not shown symptoms and following all safety measures at the school.
Health officials have not yet reported a case of COVID-19 suspected to have been found at a Manitoba school as of Sept. 14 - all cases found in schools were thought to have been contracted elsewhere.
Manitoba announced 21 new cases of COVID-19 Sept. 14, with most cases within Winnipeg. Seventeen of the 21 cases were in the provincial capital, with three cases in Southern Health-Sante Sud and one in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. Manitoba, as of Sept. 14, had 257 active cases of COVID-19. Twelve people were in hospital with COVID-19 province-wide, with three people in intensive care.
“Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified,” reads a provincial notice issued Sept. 14.
Northern case moved
A case of COVID-19 was found in an isolated portion of the Northern Health Region (NHR) over the weekend, but was later moved from the region.
A new positive test for the disease was reported Sept. 13 in the Shamattawa/York Factory/Tataskweyak/Split Lake health region, the first case of COVID-19 to be found in that district. However, that case was moved from the NHR to the Winnipeg region, according to the provincial government, “following detailed public health investigations.”
The Reminder has reached out to the NHR for comment and any other possible information relating to the case.
While both active cases of COVID-19 near Flin Flon are in Saskatchewan, the disease does not appear to have spread further. The Far North East 2 region, which covers Creighton, Denare Beach and other Saskatchewan communities near Flin Flon, remained at two active cases Sept. 14.
The province reported eight new cases of COVID-19 Monday, with most of the cases - six in total - found in the Saskatoon region. Several cases over the weekend were linked to a social gathering in Saskatoon. Contact tracing and investigations into the gathering and attendees who later tested positive are ongoing.
Saskatchewan is now back over 100 active cases, clearing with 103 Sept. 14. Since the pandemic began, 1,731 cases of the disease have been found in the province, with most people having recovered.