WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Boissevain School in Boissevain, Man.

As an enhanced measure against the outbreak, the school has moved to an online learning format until April 23.

The school has also been moved to the Orange or restricted level on Manitoba’s pandemic response system.

According to Tim De Ruyck, superintendent with the Turtle Mountain School Division, the division was made aware of a positive COVID-19 case on March 28.

He said in a statement the school division began to contract trace, and in the following days learned of two more positive cases. De Ruyck noted that they informed the staff and students determined to be close contacts.

De Ruyck said on April 1, Manitoba Education said the school would have to shift the K to 12 students to remote learning from April 5 to 9. Then, on April 8, they were informed the remote learning would have to continue until April 23, “due to more cases which have been confirmed in the community.”

De Ruyck said he is aware of 12 positive COVID-19 cases among students and/or staff at the school. He noted he does not know how COVID-19 first came to the school or if any transmission took place at the school.

“Since the onset of COVID in March 2020, Boissevain School has been extremely diligent to follow all public health guidelines, including mask wearing, hand washing, distancing, increased sanitizing frequency, and not having people at school with symptoms of illness,” he said.

“Since moving to remote learning, and as an added precautionary measure, the school has been deep cleaned over and above the usual sanitizing procedures.”

De Ruyck added that the division is hopeful students will be able to return to in-class learning on April 26, but it won’t know for sure until the date approaches.