Manitoba students will get a spring break three times as long as normal due to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said at a March 13 press conference that all Manitoba schools will suspend classes for three weeks beginning March 23.
The first week of suspension will come one week before the regularly scheduled spring break while the third week will be the week after the normal spring break. Classes will resume April 13.
“We believe that our schools are safe,” said Goertzen. “This step is being taken with the community interest in mind and that it will lessen the impact of the virus.”
Teachers and other school staff will still be on the job for the week of March 23-27 and the week of April 6-9, working on lesson plans, in the case of teachers, and on required cleaning and maintenance for other staff.
Goertzen said the school suspension was a proactive measure designed to lessen the impact of COVID-19.
In a press conference a few hours earlier on Friday, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said he was not recommending immediate school closures, noting that suspending classes can create problems for parents who need to arrange child care so that they can continue to work.
“We’re giving notice to families to prepare,” said Premier Brian Pallister.