Some elementary students begin remote learning after COVID-19 outbreak at La Broquerie school

A third southern Manitoba school has been elevated to orange on the pandemic response system due to the possibility of COVID-19 transmission within the school.

There are three cases of COVID-19 at Arborgate School, a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in La Broquerie, Man., about 60 km southeast of Winnipeg, Seine River School Division Supt. Mike Borgfjord said Thursday.

The first case at the school did not appear to be associated with the school, Borgfjord said. On Tuesday evening, Manitoba Public Health told the school division there were two more cases that may have been spread within the school, he said.

Arborgate School was elevated to orange, or restricted, on Wednesday morning and parents were notified, Borgfjord said.

One kindergarten class and two combined grades 1-2 classes are engaged in remote learning, he said.

Staff and students who remain at the school must keep two metres apart under orange-level restrictions, he said. Only one student per seat is allowed on buses.

The new restrictions at the school will be in place for weeks.

“Obviously, it’s a very fluid situation, so if there’s a few more other cases, it could be prolonged,” Borgfjord said.

La Broquerie is east of Steinbach.

The outbreak at Arborgate comes days after Bird’s Hill School in East St. Paul, just north of Winnipeg, was elevated to orange on the pandemic response system.

The largest school outbreak in Manitoba, at John Pritchard School in Winnipeg’s North Kildonan area, has been declared over.

Borgfjord said he is not aware of any connection between the outbreak at Arborgate and the 27-case cluster associated with the Exceldor poultry plant in Blumenort, less than 20 kilometres northwest of La Broquerie.