Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin held a press conference on Friday, September 25th which was followed by a media bulletin. As Dr. Roussin indicated in his press conference, the new Public Health orders and changes under the Province’s Pandemic Response System that will come into effect on Monday, September 28th do not change any of the guidelines related to schools. Manitoba Education provided the following clarifying message late Friday afternoon:
Today, the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer announced that the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region will be moved to the Orange/Restricted level under the Province’s Pandemic Response System, effective Monday, September 28, 2020. Health orders under this new level are being applied in a focused manner and do not currently change any of the measures related to schools or child care centres. This means that schools remain in the Yellow (Caution) level and will re-open for students on Monday under the same protocols that have been in place since the start of the school year. Guidance on masks in schools and on school buses remains the same. This is being closely monitored.
The Department of Education is working with school divisions and education partners to ensure that as the risk level across regions of the province changes, schools are able to adapt. This may mean remote learning when the risk level increases whether at the classroom, school, or regional level. Schools have been planning for scenarios that include moving to remote learning after the lessons learned in the spring, and as the risk level increases, the system will look at ensuring there are alternatives for students and families for continued learning options during times where the risk levels are higher.