Manitoba has declared as many COVID-19 outbreaks in schools within the first seven weeks of this school year as it did in all of the previous year, according to public provincial records.
On Monday, the province declared an outbreak at the Springs Christian Academy campus on Lagimodiere Boulevard — making it the sixth school outbreak declared this year.
That is the same number of outbreaks declared in Manitoba schools in all of the 2020-2021 school year. That year, the provincial government moved most students in Grade 7 to 12 to remote learning in response to surging case numbers, beginning after the winter holiday break.
The first outbreak of the current school year was declared at Christian Heritage School in Brandon, the week of Sept. 19 to 25.
That was followed the next week by an outbreak at Miniota School in Minota, Man.
Three outbreaks were reported the following week: at Alonsa School in Alonsa, Man., the Springs Christian Academy campus on Rue Youville in Winnipeg and St. Augustine’s School in Brandon.
Last month, the province changed the definition a school outbreak. It raised the minimum number of school-associated cases identified within 14 days of each other — in students, teachers or staff within a cohort — from two to three.
Before the latest outbreaks were announced on Monday, the last five outbreaks declared in the province were all at schools.
The announcement of the outbreak at the Springs Lagimodiere campus came alongside outbreaks declared at Benito Personal Care Home in Benito, Man., and Light of the North Covenant Church in Thompson.
The two outbreaks at Springs Christian Academy sites are the only outbreaks listed as currently active. According to the province’s online data, the two sites each have 13 active cases, including 13 non-staff cases at the Youville campus and nine non-staff and four staff cases at the Lagimodiere campus.
Springs Christian Academy is affiliated with Springs Church in Winnipeg, which has been charged in the past with violating public health orders, including holding a maskless graduation ceremony for adult graduates of its Springs College in May.