Winnipeg school closing due to COVID-19
College Louis Riel is pictured on October 5. (CTV News Photo Scott Andersson)
WINNIPEG -- A school in Winnipeg has confirmed it will be closing down temporarily following several positive cases of COVID-19.
In a letter sent to parents and obtained by CTV News, College Louis Riel, a French-language school in Winnipeg, said it is asking parents to keep their children at home until November 6. Students will be able to return to the school on November 9.
Alain Laberge, superintendent of the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine, said the decision was “difficult, but necessary.”
“Recent results from Winnipeg regional health indicate that there is an increasing number of reported cases in the area and although the vast majority of these cases come from outside our schools, they end up having an impact on our students and our staff,” Laberge wrote. “In particular, we note a resurgence of cases at Collège Louis-Riel.”
The letter said there are four new confirmed cases at the school, and the closure is to help reduce transmission.
Students will be able to continue their education with remote learning while the school is closed.
“We understand that this is an unexpected inconvenience, but know that this decision is made in the best interests of students, school staff and community health,” Laberge wrote.
Students at the school are being reminded to limit their interaction with people outside of their homes to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
"The last week or so we had cases everyday. COVID cases every day," Laberge told CTV News on Wednesday. "We had staff, students involved and we were worried about the health of our students and our staff. We were worried about the fact that we didn’t have enough teachers to teach while people were in quarantine. Especially knowing that 11 cohorts out of 21 were in quarantine, it was best for us to just send everyone home and take a ten day break so we can get back to normal in ten days.”
Laberge said he was told by health officials that transmission did not happen at the school, but he said it is hard to know.
"Once the bell rings at 3:30 p.m. and kids are in the community, they play hockey and have gymnastics and everything," he said. "The transmission could have occurred outside of our school."
He added, they didn't want to take a chance, knowing the trend of growing COVID-19 cases in Winnipeg.
Laberge said on Nov. 5 the school will re-evaluate and determine if it is safe for students to return to school or if they should remain at home longer.
-With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks and Devon McKendrick