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Ontario changes list of COVID-19 symptoms that would force students to stay home – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Children who only have a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer need to test negative for COVID-19 in order to return to school or daycare but they will still have to stay home for at least 24 hours.

The Ontario government previously said that children exhibiting any of the 17 symptoms listed in its screening questionnaire would have to self-isolate at home for 14 days or test negative for COVID-19 before returning to school or daycare.

The province, however, has now loosened those guidelines amid reports of sustained long lineups at many GTA assessment centres.

It will still require a negative COVID test or an alternate diagnosis from a doctor if a child has developed one of the four symptoms most commonly associated with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus – fever, cough, loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath.

But if they are exhibiting just one symptom that is less associated with COVID-19, such as a runny nose or a headache, they can return after 24 hours so long as their condition is improving.

The province has also removed abdominal pain and pink eye from its symptom list entirely.

“We are changing the policy and clarifying that schools and daycares should not be requiring a negative COVID test (if children have just one symptom); in fact they shouldn’t even be requiring a doctor’s note,” Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said during a briefing on Thursday afternoon. “The parent knows the child the best so if the parent has consulted the provider and the child is feeling better they should be able to go back to school.”

The decision to revise the screening guidance for schools and daycares comes after the British Columbia government removed ten symptoms from its list for school-aged children last month last month, including runny nose, headache and fatigue.

Yaffe said that the Ontario public health officials considered following suit and also removing runny nose from its symptom list but decided to keep it there after learning that 17 per cent of children diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ontario only displayed a runny nose at first.

“We felt that we had to include runny nose; however we know that runny nose is a very common symptom and in the vast, vast majority of cases it is not COVID-19,” she said. “There is all sorts of other causes. There are other viruses circulating in the community or the kid might have just been outside and got a runny nose. It is still there (on the list) but what we want to look at really is whether it is a significant symptom and whether they have other symptoms as well. If they only have the runny nose and they go home and it gets better and they have no other symptoms then they can go back to school the next day.”

It should be noted that the revised screening guidance will still require that any child exhibiting more than one of the listed symptoms either test negative for COVID-19 or receive an alternate diagnosis from a doctor before returning to school or daycare.

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul

A school just outside of Winnipeg has declared an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Manitoba government’s most recent bulletin.

Bird’s Hill School, located at 3950 Raleigh St. in East St. Paul, has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The school is moving to the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system.

In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon, the River East Transcona School Division confirmed there were five cases in the school within two classrooms. The two classrooms are in the grade 2/3 levels, the division said.

The school is also taking steps to deal with the new restrictions.

“We are moving furniture to ensure the two-metre distancing is done. Deep cleaning has been done to the affected classrooms and commonly touched surfaces and staff are ensuring that students follow protocols regarding handwashing, mask-wearing (when required), and social distancing,” the statement reads. “Busing is being revised to meet the orange designation for Bird’s Hill School students. The parents will be receiving information for optional remote learning for their children while the school is in orange status.”

A provincial spokesperson said health officials have not ruled out in-school transmission at this time.

Bird’s Hill School previously reported on Oct. 11 that a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in the school on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2.

OUTBREAK OVER AT WINNIPEG SCHOOL

The outbreak at John Pritchard School, which was declared last month, has now ended, the province announced on Tuesday.

The school is now at the yellow or caution level on the pandemic response system.

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Coronavirus cases spike again in Manitoba on Tuesday – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
Cases of COVID-19 have once again spiked in Manitoba, as provincial health officials announced 110 new cases on Tuesday.

These new cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba since March to 3,491, which includes one case removed from the total due to duplication.

The cases announced on Tuesday include:

  • two cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • 11 cases in the Northern health region;
  • two cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
  • seven cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region; and
  • 88 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The province said there are currently 32 people in hospital, including six people in intensive care. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 remains at 42.

The five-day test positivity rate in Manitoba crept back up slightly to 4.3 per cent as of Tuesday.

The province said there are 1,746 active cases in the province, along with 1,703 recoveries – however, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, has said these numbers may not be accurate due to a back log in reporting.

The Winnipeg region continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 2,113 total cases since March.

The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region is now under the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system, which includes increased restrictions.

This comes as Canada’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the country’s total case count past the 200,000 mark on Monday.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases in Canada surpass 200,000

The majority of Canada’s cases are in Ontario and Quebec, though cases have been rising across the country.

APPOINTMENT-BASED TESTING NOW AVAILABLE IN MANITOBA

The province had 2,149 COVID tests completed on Monday, bringing the total number of lab tests done since February to 228,713.

The province has also announced the introduction of appointment-based testing is launching in Manitoba on Tuesday.

The province said people are now able to make an appointment to book a COVID-19 test by calling 1-855-268-4318 or by going to the government’s website.

For now, the province said appointments will only be available at three sites, including 604 St. Mary’s Rd., 2735 Pembina Hwy., and 1181 Portage Ave.

The rest of the testing sites in the province are still working on a first-come, first-serve basis.

-with files from CTV’s Devon McKendrick and The Canadian Press’ Paola Loriggio

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More Manitoba healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19: provincial data – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The number of healthcare workers in Manitoba who have tested positive for COVID-19 continues to grow, according to the latest surveillance data released by the Manitoba government.

In its weekly report released Monday, the province said 16 more healthcare workers were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the week of Oct. 4-10, bringing the total to 129 since the pandemic began in March.

Of the healthcare workers who contracted COVID-19, 39 worked as healthcare aides, while 32 worked as nurses, and 12 worked as social or support workers.

Of the 116 cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers, the province said 95 have recovered as of Oct. 10. The surveillance report said 62.3 per cent of the cases were from close contact with a known COVID-19 case, with 28.7 per cent of cases coming from an unknown source. The remaining nine per cent of cases come from travel.

CASE DATA IN MANITOBA

During the week of Oct. 4-10, Manitoba reported a total of 502 COVID-19 cases, with 75 per cent of the new cases reported in Winnipeg. In the remaining health regions, 12 per cent of the cases were in the Interlake-Eastern region, eight per cent were in Southern Health, three per cent in the Prairie Mountain Health Region, and one per cent in the Northern Health Region.

During the week, Manitoba performed an average of 2,419 tests per day, and the test positivity rate was 3.4 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent the week before.

Of the cases this week where information on the infection’s source was available, 53.7 per cent were from close contact to known cases, 20.4 per cent are still pending results, and 17.2 per cent of cases were from an unknown source. The remaining percentage (8.7) was from travel.

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