First published: March 13, 2020
Last updated: March 20, 2020
Please note: These FAQs are for archive purposes only. Any future questions will be posted into a new story on our website.
LRSD and COVID-19 FAQ:
The following FAQ outlines the most up-to-date information about the steps LRSD is taking to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students while they attend school next week (March 16-23):
1. What about my current childcare arrangements in LRSD schools?
The Manitoba government is taking additional proactive measures to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. This includes:
- suspending services at licensed childcare centres, effective end-of-day Friday, March 20;
- recommending parents with children in these centres begin to make alternate arrangements as soon as possible, even though centres will remain open for the remainder of the week;
- continuing to allow home-based childcare providers to operate
Please contact your childcare provider if you have any questions.
2. Are childcare spaces in LRSD schools affected by the suspension of classes?
The Manitoba government is suspending services at licensed childcare centres in Manitoba, effective end-of-day Friday, March 20. This includes all childcare in LRSD.
3. How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread through close contact (within two metres) with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing. You can also get COVID-19 by touching objects contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
4. What preventative steps can be taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19?
- All students, teachers and other staff are encouraged to stay at home if they are sick or exhibiting flu-like symptoms
- Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately
- Regular and thorough handwashing for at least 20 seconds – if you are unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact (within two metres) with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
5. What should I do if I'm sick or if someone in my family is ill or showing symptoms?
If you or anyone in your family is sick or showing signs of cold- or flu-like symptoms, it is important to stay home. Please visit the new online Manitoba COVID-19 Screening Tool before contacting Health Links regarding COVID-19 concerns.
If any member of your household is undergoing testing or tests positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that all members of the household self-quarantine. Please contact your child's school principal with any health updates related to COVID-19 so we can help mitigate the impact of the virus on the school community.
6. What types of travel has the division postponed?
The division has postponed all currently scheduled LRSD student and staff travel, which includes local, inter-provincial and international, until the middle of May 2020. Travel will be re-evaluated in May.
7. I have an international trip planned, what should I do?
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends avoiding all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. If you are considering or returning from any international travel, please discuss the details of your travel plans with your child's school principal.
8. What happens if I just returned from international travel?
As announced by the Manitoba Chief Provincial Public Health Officer today, effective March 15, 2020, anyone returning from international travel is to stay home, self-isolate and self-monitor for 14 days from their travel return date.
Parents returning from international travel must contact Health Links to discuss their family’s specific circumstance and notify the principal of the result of the consultation.
9. What kind of school events are being postponed?
LRSD is postponing extra-curricular and co-curricular gatherings until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Clubs (math, chess, knitting)
- Sporting events (tournaments, play-offs, practices, etc.)
- Assemblies or school Movie Nights
- Use of Facilities Permits
Please contact your school administration if you have any questions about a specific event. All student work placements have also been postponed and fitness centres in schools are closed until further notice.
10. What about parent-teacher conferences?
Parent-teacher conferences will occur over the phone or through email wherever possible. School administration will communicate the details of parent-teacher conferences in the coming days.
These conferences will also provide the opportunity for teachers to check in about the educational continuance occuring at home.
11. Are buses still running the week of March 16 to 20?
Please note: School bus ridership is down to an average of 7.61 per cent as of March 20, 2020.
While a new protocol has helped reduce the potential impact of COVID-19 on LRSD school buses and in our schools, the most important expectation is ensuring that any children who display cold- or flu-like symptoms remain at home and do not attempt to board a school bus or attend school.
If you have any questions about this protocol, please email LRSD Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the LRSD Transportation page.
12. How is LRSD protecting students with a compromised immune system?
If your child has a compromised immune system, please communicate with your child's school principal to ensure a proper course of action is taken.
13. Are schools in LRSD stocked with adequate amount of cleaning supplies?
Yes, we currently have enough inventory to take care of all cleaning procedures necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning March 16, school custodians are also introducing the following additional sanitation measures in schools:
Ensuring proper disinfection procedures are followed in cafeterias, washrooms, staff rooms and common areas
On a frequent basis, wiping all door handles with commercial-grade disinfectant
Providing hand sanitizer, when available, to each office area for staff and public use
14. What if I want to keep my child at home the week of March 16-20?
Please note: School attendance is down to an average of 13 per cent as of March 20, 2020.
We understand some families may not feel comfortable sending their children to school the week of March 16-20. Keeping schools open this week is a proactive measure to prepare the school system for the suspension of classes that will occur from March 23 – April 10.
15. What else can I do to prevent the spread against COVID-19?
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living recommends the following strategies for all Manitobans:
- social distancing which means minimizing prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between individuals in public
- avoiding greetings that involve touching such as handshakes
- disinfecting frequently used surfaces
- frequent and thorough handwashing
- following public health advice related to self-monitoring and self-isolation if you have travelled or have been exposed to someone ill with the virus
- consider avoiding travel, crowded places and events, especially if you are at higher risk (e.g. seniors and those with underlying medical conditions)
- cancelling or postponing any large-scale events with more than 50 attendees (this will help reduce prolonged (more than 10 minutes), close (less than two metres) contact between other individuals in public).
16. I have children who participate in practical arts. Are there any changes to practical arts programming?
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, practical arts for all Grade 7 and 8 students who need to travel to a different schools will cease until further notice and those students will be instructed to stay at home (as is our existing practice when canceling practical arts). Students who participate in practical arts in their home school will continue to do so. Notification of any cancelled practical arts programming for students who travel outside their home school will be sent from the local school administration.
17. Will Family Centres remain open?
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, Family Centres will be closed until further notice.
18. Will students continue to share devices?
No. We are ceasing the use of all shared devices including, but not limited to, laptops, iPads and all musical instruments until further notice.
Teachers have been asked to reduce the use of shared items in all classes, but if necessary, they will emphasize proper handwashing protocols before and after class where any items may be shared.
19. I've decided to withdraw my child from school before the suspension of classes comes into effect. What is LRSD planning on providing in terms of educational continuance?
The week before the suspension of classes comes into effect, our teachers will be focusing on the students attending school. They have begun planning for educational continuance (updated March 18) for the upcoming suspension of classes.
By Friday, March 20, teachers will have communicated with students and parents an overview of their educational continuance plans and their general expectations for the weeks of March 23 and April 6.