To those students interested in joining dance classes, acting troupes, or badminton teams this school year and Manitoba’s top doctor has given a tentative green light.
September’s usual extra-curricular offerings have begun, albeit to a lesser extent, and Chief Public Health Officer Doctor Brent Roussin says it is okay for students to participate in a little bit of after-school fun, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. By following the already-established guidelines, Roussin believes these activities can be done safely.
Well-aware that extra-curricular programs may muddy the strict cohorts set up by schools across the province, Roussin says the activities can continue on the condition that standard protocols are followed. Those involved in organized events of any kind must observe two-meter physical distancing, frequent handwashing, staying home when ill, and wearing masks when in enclosed spaces; the same rules that have become commonplace across Manitoba.
“It is the enclosed spaces, crowded spaces, and prolonged contact, that we want to avoid,” stresses Roussin. “Really trying to limit the amount of close contacts over time is the best way to reduce our risk of this virus.”
He defines a “close contact” as anyone who is closer than that two-meters from another individual for a period of time longer than 15 minutes.
Roussin encourages students and parents to keep that advice in mind when seeking out activities this semester. By limiting close contacts and isolating when ill, he believes the spread of the virus can be limited even while enjoying those after-school events.