Manitoba’s top doctor to make announcement Thursday about return to school, says education minister

Manitoba’s top doctor is expected to make an announcement on Thursday about schools returning to in-class learning, according to Education Minister Cliff Cullen.

Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in Winnipeg and Brandon, Man., were mandated by the provincial government to move to remote learning on May 12. More than two dozen schools in the Garden Valley and Red River Valley school divisions switched to remote learning on May 18. Remote learning for those schools is slated to end on Sunday, May 30.

During Wednesday’s question period, Cullen was asked if the province would send students back to school or if it would be extending remote learning for the rest of the school year. He replied saying Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, will make an announcement about schools Thursday.

“We have taken the stance that we would like to see as many students, as safely as possible, in schools getting face-to-face education. That’s where they learn best,” said Cullen.

“Dr. Roussin will be out tomorrow making announcements in terms of school going forward next Monday.”

Some schools, such as those in Dauphin, Man., moved to remote learning at the discretion of their school division due to COVID-19 cases.

There were 390 Manitoba schools learning remotely in the two weeks prior to May 24, provincial data shows.

In that period, 215 schools had one of more COVID-19 cases. There were 402 student cases and 80 staff cases.

Rosenort School in Rosenort, Man., a community just over 50 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, has the most school cases with 10, data shows.

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