Manitoba parent concerned about lack of contact tracing

As students return to Manitoba classrooms on Monday, a mother worries about the lack of contract searches.

On January 11, the province announced that schools will no longer provide close contact notification or information about individual cases of COVID-19. Instead, schools will monitor absenteeism rates and self-reported cases.

READ MORE: Manitoba schools will no longer provide notification of COVID-19 close contacts

“It’s just a bit scary because before at least you would be informed – okay there’s a case at school, it’s not in my child’s cohort. I can decide what to do “said mother Andrea Clarke. “Now it’s just wide open.”

Clarke fears the number of cases is skyrocketing and believes the return to classrooms is happening without the right measures in place.

“I just feel like there is a lack of foresight in thinking about the consequences for families on the part of the province. (It) puts schools, parents and families in a really difficult position. “Clarke said.

Clarke said she wasn’t sure whether to send her child to school, but it’s not just her son’s safety that she has to worry about.

Clarke is 40 and pregnant. Her husband has cystic fibrosis and they all live with his aging mother.

“We’re all at high risk, and so are other families in the same boat like mine,” Clarke said.

“You say you’re just going to roll the dice with the safety of your family and that’s it.”

In a statement, Education Minister Cliff Cullen said: “Students learn best in the classroom, the benefits cannot be understated – from mental and physical health to socializing and supporting families.”

It’s a sentiment Clarke agrees with in principle, but wishes there was another way. She said possible alternatives could include extending remote learning until the number of COVID-19 cases begins to drop, COVID-19 reminders for more students, and continuing the contact tracing so parents can make more informed decisions.

Cullen said protective layers are in place in classrooms to reduce the spread of the virus as children return to in-person learning.

He listed rapid testing programs for asymptomatic teachers, staff and students, the distribution of millions of masks and ventilation improvements.

Clarke wonders why increased funding for ongoing contact tracing has not been included.

“The hospitals are so full. What’s going to happen when you send all those kids back to school and now you have double that amount in a week that needs hospitalization,” Clarke said. “It just seems crazy right now to go straight back there.”

Comments are closed.