COVID-19: Hanover School Division moves to critical level; students to begin remote learning

A Manitoba school division says all its students will shift to teacher-led remote learning as the entire division moves to the “critical” or red level on the province’s Pandemic Response System.

In a letter to parents, which is also posted on Hanover School Division’s (HSD) website, the division says the move comes as COVID-19 test-positivity rates continue to climb in Steinbach and the surrounding area, and is not reflective of school-based virus transmission.

The change takes effect on Tuesday, Nov. 24, while all HSD schools will remain open with classes in session on Monday.

Read more: Winnipeg private school moving high school students to remote learning amid coronavirus

According to the letter, all students in the division will change to remote learning on Tuesday.

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Exceptions include K – 6 children of critical services workers who can’t make alternative arrangements, children of critical workers over age 12 who have disabilities or special needs that would prevent them from staying home on their own, and students whose parents indicated on an earlier survey that in-class learning is required.

More details on the critical response for schools can be found on the government’s website.

Read more: College Louis-Riel temporarily sending students home after several COVID-19 cases

The division says it will no longer be handling transportation as long as it’s in the critical level, but it is exploring “the possibility of continuing minimal bus transportation.”

Phone support will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, the division adds. Caregivers are asked to dial the number for the child’s school and press “1” when prompted.

Health authorities revealed Friday the ten-day test-positivity rate for the RM of Hanover is 30 per cent “and climbing,” while Steinbach is at a staggering 40 per cent.

That’s well above the already-high provincial rate of 13.7 per cent.

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