Manitoba schools prepare for in-class learning, new contact tracing strategy – Winnipeg

As Manitoba students return to school Monday, teachers are preparing for in-person learning once again — this time under a new contact-tracing strategy that focuses on absenteeism rather than notifying close contacts.

The Seven Oaks 680 School Department Principal told CJOB that he hopes the steps being taken will suffice.

“If we keep wearing masks, if we socially distance as much as possible, and especially if parents are keeping their children at home if they develop symptoms, we are taking the steps we need to mitigate the spread of the disease,” said Brian O. leary.

O’Leary said a lot of managers could barely keep up with contact tracing in previous waves, and now with thousands of cases a day, it’s going to be very difficult.

“From the managers, there is a little relief. Really, a lot of contact tracing said, ‘Watch out for symptoms, and keep your kids home if they are showing symptoms,’ and that’s advice we double down on.”

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“Managers were doing most of the contact tracing, making phone calls — we had managers doing this literally all weekend, every weekend, and that was when we were getting 500 cases a day in the previous waves.

“When we get thousands of cases, it’s simply not possible.”

On the positive side, O’Leary said, the city’s vaccination levels for older children are close to 90 percent, and levels are consistently rising for younger children.

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District announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students prepare to return Monday

The president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Association said Thursday that he has some concerns about the boycott’s plan.

“One of our biggest concerns was the rate of absenteeism when people get sick,” James Bedford said.

“It looks like they’re going to let people get sick, and we’ll find that we don’t have enough replacement teachers to step in. We’re going to make our kids sick and get left behind in their classes.

“I think one of the big concerns that teachers – and would-be parents – will have is what has changed since December to make this place safer?”

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District announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students prepare to return Monday


District announces changes to COVID-19 contact tracing as students prepare to return Monday

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