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Manitoba parents question decision to have daycares open



Some Manitoba parents are questioning the province’s decision not to close daycares, as classes at all schools continue for one more week before being temporarily suspended amid concerns of COVID-19.

Some parents have chosen to voluntarily keep their kids home from school and daycare starting today.

That’s not an option for Mehjabin Sultana, an early childhood educator at a Winnipeg daycare and mom of an 11-year-old. She wants all day cares to be shut down, too.

“It does not make any sense. The daycare is a public place, too,” she said.

“I don’t know who is safe or not, even I don’t feel safe to work at this moment,” Sultana said.

Closing daycares still on the table

Health officials said Sunday they are considering closing daycares, but haven’t made a decision yet.

That’s in part because daycares tend to have fewer children than schools, meaning the chances of the virus spreading are lower, according to chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

Another concern for officials: a closure of daycares could further strain the medical system if parents who are lab technicians, nurses, and doctors are forced to stay home with their children.

“We know the impact on parents, especially parents in healthcare, might even be magnified,” Roussin said Sunday.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, answers those questions. 2:03

Other parents will need to turn to daycare when school’s close.

Once classes stop in a week, parent Sajed Haque said he’ll have to send his son to daycare for the whole day.

“I’m going to work, my wife will go to work. He has to go to the daycare,” Haque said, adding he’d prefer daycares shut down so his wife, who works at one, could stay home with their son.

Risk at school remains low: officials

The province maintains the decision to suspend classes next week is out of an abundance of caution, and the risk in schools remains low.

That’s not reliable enough for mom Kaitlin Davey, who said she’ll keep her six-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter home starting today, in part because her daughter has health issues.

“A lot can happen in a week. In my mind, I don’t feel like I should be waiting and chancing it,” she said.

Cancelling classes puts Manitoba ‘way out ahead of this virus’

Roussin said officials wanted to give parents and the schools a week to make a plan.

“We’ve moved out of an abundance of caution to be way out ahead of this virus,” Roussin said.

He says it’s up to parents if they want to keep their kids home sooner, but the risk remains low, especially since all seven cases in Manitoba are all believed to be linked to travel.

Roussin said officials “acted quickly” when they made the decision to close schools within 48 hours of the first presumptive case of COVID-19.

“We can look at other jurisdictions that have had transmission ongoing for much longer: their schools are still open,” he said. “Certainly the schools are safe.”

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Two new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London, three in Huron-Perth – CTV News London



There are two new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London region and three new cases in Huron Perth, according to local health officials.

On Saturday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported that the two new cases are both men, one in his 50s, the other in his 60s.

Although it’s unclear at this time how they contracted the virus or if they are in hospital or self-isolating at home.

That brings the total number of cases to 25 in Middlesex-London.

Meanwhile, Huron Perth Public Health confirmed three more cases on Saturday, for a total of five in the region.

The first new case is a man in his 60s from Stratford who had close contact with two confirmed cases in London. He currently in self-isolation at home.

The second case is a St. Marys woman who works in healthcare but had no travel or contact with confirmed cases.

The third case is a man in his 60s from South Huron who has since been transferred to London Health Sciences Centre. He too, had no travel history or contact with positive cases.

“We were not surprised to receive these three new cases in Huron Perth,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health in a news release. “The new cases confirm that we are now seeing local spread in our area, which is a similar pattern to what has been showing up across Ontario.”

Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol‐based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

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Second case of COVID-19 announced in Thunder Bay –



THUINDER BAY – A day after reporting the city’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has confirmed a second, unrelated case.

The case is travel-related and involves an individual in their twenties, who returned from the United States about two weeks ago. They developed symptoms while self-isolating at home, informed the health unit, and were tested at the hospital’s COVID-19 assessment centre.

The health unit says it immediately began an investigation to determine others who may have been exposed through contact with the individual while they were infectious, saying it has now contacted an unspecified number of people.

“The public health investigation and follow-up is ongoing, however, it is clear that people have been taking precautions including self-isolating,” said Janet DeMille, medical officer of health at TBDHU. “This is important as it helps contain the virus to a group of closely linked individuals and reduces the likelihood of spread in the community.”

The new case brings the total number of confirmed cases in Northwestern Ontario to four.

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London man dies of COVID-19 as more positive cases reported –



A London man has died of COVID-19 as public health officials across the region report new cases Saturday. 

CBC London has learned that a man in his 70s, who had previously been admitted to hospital, has died. It’s the first death in the Middlesex-London region since the pandemic was declared.

Two new cases of the virus were reported by the Middlesex-London Health Unit Saturday, bringing the total number of positive cases in the city to 25.

Public health officials say a man in his 50s and a man in his 60s have contracted the virus, but details have not yet been released regarding how the men were infected or whether they’re in hospital or self-isolation. 

Meanwhile, Huron Perth Public Health officials have confirmed three new cases in the area, including a healthcare worker.   

She is in her 40s, from St. Marys, and had no travel history or known contact with any confirmed case. She’s currently in self-isolation at home. 

A man who presented at South Huron Hospital, and has since been transferred to London Health Sciences Centre, also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and has no travel history or known contact with positive cases.

Another man with close contact to two Londoners already diagnosed with the virus, has also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and is in self-isolation at home in Stratford.

Huron Perth currently has five cases, including a man in critical condition in hospital. 

Oxford and Elgin counties, and the city of St. Thomas have not yet reported Saturday on whether there are new cases. As of Friday, there were five cases in that area. 

More people in hospital

As the number of positive cases grow, so do hospital admissions. The London Health Science Centre said there are four people, two at University Hospital and two at Victoria Hospital in intensive care units. 

Across Ontario, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in intensive care units has doubled in less than two days.

There were 43 patients hospitalized in Ontario’s ICUs on Friday, up from 29 on Thursday and 17 on Wednesday, according to figures from the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe.

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