With six additional cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Winnipeg’s John Pritchard School, MTS president James Bedford again called on the Province to deploy provincial and federal funding aimed at making schools safe.

“Along with all Manitobans, MTS is deeply concerned for the welfare of students and staff at John Pritchard School, and their families,” said Bedford. “It is of no comfort for officials to suggest that “it was inevitable” that COVID-19 would make its way into our classrooms. There is $185 million in provincial and federal funding available for safety measures in schools, and those funds need to be made available immediately.”

Public health officials have long maintained that physical distancing, mask-wearing, effective cleaning protocols and hand hygiene provide the greatest defense against the spread of COVID-19. Bedford wants a comprehensive approach across all Manitoba school divisions.

“We continue to call on the province to implement a consistent COVID response across school divisions. This includes a reduction in class sizes to ensure the two-metres of distance recommended by public health officials.”

MTS also continues to press for a plan regarding additional substitute teachers, and for managing teacher workload.

“Having sufficient teachers is essential to creating classrooms that adhere to physical distancing recommendations, and help ensure a safe and sustainable return to school.”