Manitoba Daily

Sunday, December 5, 2021

As the number of cases rises, Manitoba must do more to protect students

Key sentence:

  • One teacher is concerned that the area isn’t doing enough to keep the virus out of classrooms.
  • She also wants the province to make immunizations mandatory for all eligible youth who participate in sports.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba rises, one teacher is concerned that the area isn’t doing enough to keep the virus out of classrooms.

Since the start of the school year, the province’s web dashboard has recorded 916 incidents of COVID-19 among students or employees at K-12 schools. In the previous two weeks, a third of those cases had been reported.

A teacher and co-founder of Safe September, Lauren Hope, a group that campaigns for more COVID-19 safety measures in schools, isn’t surprised by the rising case statistics.

“The only odd thing is that we’re doing it for the fourth time, and we’re still utilizing the same techniques, which appear to wait and see what happens,” she added.

“From September 7 to now, we’ve had more proclaimed outbreaks than we did the entire school year last year.”

Hope wants the province to intervene by installing high-efficiency particulates air (HEPA) filters in classrooms and giving schools and families fast assessments.

Also read: Above 18 in Manitoba is eligible for the 3rd dose

She also wants the province to make immunizations mandatory for all eligible youth who participate in sports.

“I am not sure that the province is doing enough, and that begins with the question of where our minister of health and our new premier is?” Hope expressed her thoughts.

“We need them to be out front and centre, saying that they’re taking care of things. And, to be honest, this wait-and-see attitude irritates me.”

As per the Manitoba government, approximately 1,200 COVID-19 instances in people aged 19 and under have been reported in the last month.

The Southern Health Region has accounted for nearly 40% of the cases.

Definition of school outbreak changes as COVID-19 cases rise.

Since October 26, eight patients under the age of 20 have been hospitalized owing to COVID-19. Two of the patients were rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The data are being closely monitored, according to Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

“We just understand that sending kids home from school has a significant impact, and so we have to balance that,” Dr Brent Roussin said during a news conference on Wednesday.

“It’s not that we haven’t done it before, and it’s not that we aren’t doing it now. We’ve had epidemics in regions where we’ve had to send students to remote learning, and we’ll proceed to do so in the future, “he stated.

Roussin also hinted at the possibility of additional health restrictions being imposed in the following days.

According to Manitoba Teachers Society president James Bedford, the best environment for pupils to study is in a physically safe classroom.

“We cannot speculate on health orders that have not yet been released,” he said in an email statement. “However, we will continue to collaborate with public health professionals to ensure that learning occurs in a manner that ensures the safety and security of our school communities.”

Schools, according to Hope, are trying their utmost to adhere to current recommendations.

Adding public health initiatives outside of school could also help them stay open, according to her.

Source: CBC

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