Manitoba

Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation shuts down school, daycare to prevent coronavirus spread

A Manitoba First Nation has shut down its school until April 3 to disinfect the building, as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Band office departments are also under a travel ban, says Chief Lance Roulette

Chief Lance Roulette says Sandy Bay First Nation has shut down its school and daycare to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (CBC)

A Manitoba First Nation has shut down its school until April 3 to disinfect the building, as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

"We want to be very, very proactive in not only trying to limit the spread in the event it does come our way, but also to ensure that we're protecting the interests of the children," Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation Chief Lance Roulette told CBC News Thursday.

The First Nation, about 130 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, has also closed its daycare, and its band office departments are now under a travel ban, Roulette said.

The province of Manitoba said Thursday morning it had identified its first presumptive case of the coronavirus in the province. Late Thursday afternoon, it said two more presumptive cases have been identified in the province.

All three cases involve people living in the Winnipeg region.

There are a few people showing flu-like symptoms in Sandy Bay, but Roulette said he is unaware of any cases of COVID-19 there.

"We want them to try and self-isolate, try to stay home and, if they can, find a place to get tested," Roulette said, adding that the First Nation has been promoting best practices for preventing the spread of viruses.

Roulette said all of the band office's services are still operating.

The Sandy Bay students, slated to be out of school for the next three weeks, will receive homework packages from their teachers so they don't fall behind in the curriculum, Roulette said.

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