'We do not want to risk a rebound effect': Manitoba schools won't reopen before end of school year
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government said on Wednesday there are no plans to reopen schools before the school year is done.
“We do not want to risk a rebound effect,” said Premier Brian Pallister.
“In particular, all of us, with the love we have for our children would be very, very concerned, I think, about moving back to a congregation or an assembly of young people in our province that might lead to a COVID case.”
The province initially announced it would be closing schools due to the pandemic on March 13. At the time it said Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes would be closed for a three-week period beginning on March 23. Then on March 31, the government extended the school suspension indefinitely.
“It protects those we value the most – our children and their education,” Pallister said last month.
The premier noted that small businesses, funerals, weddings and baptisms will be permitted before schools open again.
At a Wednesday news conference Manitoba health officials said the province is looking at ways to ease some of the public health orders.
According to Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, Manitobans need to stick to physical distancing measures for the time being, but changes could be coming soon.
“In the coming weeks we are going to be looking at ways we can ease these restrictions,” he said,
“We are going to look at ways to safely reopen certain non-essential businesses, while others will remain closed.
Roussin noted this does not mean a return to normal, but rather there will be a “new normal for the foreseeable future.”
- With files from CTV’s Danton Unger and Devon McKendrick.