[UPDATE — 03/12/21] Indoor singing and the playing of instruments, including wind instruments, may resume in K to 12 schools, both as part of music classes and as part of extra-curricular activities, provided the following mandatory conditions are met:
• The total number of participants may not exceed 25 people, including teachers/staff.• A minimum of two metres of physical distancing should be maintained between participants. The length of the instrument must be considered when determining physical distancing.• If adequate distancing is not possible, the use of Plexiglas or other barriers should be considered and these barriers should be cleaned and disinfected after each practice.• Instruments must be cleaned on a regular basis. See this hyperlink for detailed cleaning procedures for each type of instrument.
All other public health measures must also be adhered to, including frequent handwashing and the wearing of masks.
Concerts and public performances are not to take place at this time. If public health officials issue revised health orders permitting concerts and performances to take place outside of schools, concerts may also resume in schools providing all applicable health measures are observed.
[UPDATE — 03/02/21] Changes to public health orders in Manitoba will go into effect Friday, March 5 (updated Saturday, March 13) and will expire Friday, March 25.
[UPDATE — 03/01/21] Manitoba Public Health has recently revised their definition of a close contact and self-isolation requirements have changed due to variants of concern.
Manitoba Education issued a bulletin with the following guidance:
CLOSE CONTACT DEFINITION
The definition of a close contact has also changed to identify more contacts. A close contact is anyone who has been in close physical proximity (less than two metres or six feet) for more than a cumulative total of ten minutes to a confirmed COVID-19 case over the course of a day. It also includes people who provided care for the case or had direct contact with infectious body fluids without the use of personal protective equipment. All household members are considered close contacts. As well, a person would be considered a close contact if they had close face-to-face interactions with someone who has COVID-19 without the use of a mask, even if the interaction(s) were for less than a cumulative total of ten minutes.
VARIANTS OF CONCERN AND SCHOOLS
If a VOC is identified in a case with school exposures, more aggressive measures for contacts will be implemented by public health officials. These officials will connect with the school and ensure all close contacts have been identified. In addition, the entire class or cohort(s) exposed to the case may be moved to remote learning for the duration of the quarantine and may be considered close contacts. Public health officials will advise on specific recommendations based on the school exposure.
It is recommended that close contacts go for testing 10 days after their last exposure to the case. Regardless of whether the close contact tests negative, they must complete their 14 days of self-isolation (quarantine); however, household members of the close contact can end their self-isolation (quarantine) when the close contact tests negative, as long as the test has been done a minimum of 7 days after the exposure.
If a close contact does not get tested for COVID-19, and the positive case is not a VOC, the household members of that person must isolate until the close contact completes the full 14 days of self-isolation (quarantine) and remains asymptomatic.
If the close contact is linked to a VOC case and the close contact chooses not to be tested, the close contact must self-isolate for 14 days, followed by an additional 10 days, for a total of 24 days. The rest of the household must also self-isolate for the entire 24 days.
[UPDATE — 02/09/21] The Province of Manitoba will remain at a RED – CRITICAL response level, at least until Friday, March 5.
[UPDATE — 02/04/21] The Province of Manitoba has issued the following update:
“As part of government’s effort to protect Manitobans, students, parents, and educators will have access to a new interactive, user-friendly dashboard with information about COVID-19 cases associated with public and independent schools.
“The online tool reports and maps confirmed school-related cases of COVID-19 in public and independent schools using Manitoba’s Public Health Information Management System. It features recent and cumulative case counts, which will be updated twice weekly. To be as transparent as possible, the dashboard also includes cases where the student or staff may not have been at school during the period of communicability.”