Winnipeg students use window art to show support for coronavirus frontline workers

Classes at Winnipeg’s Victory School may be on hold due to the novel coronavirus, but staff and students aren’t letting being stuck at home stop them from thanking those working to fight COVID-19.

And they want Winnipeggers to join them.

The West Kildonan neighbourhood elementary school is asking students to make signs thanking frontline workers and put them in their window for everyone to see.

“Thank you to those who are at home right now, which is exactly what we need to be doing to help plank the curve of COVID-19. However, we recognize that there are people that need to go out each day to provide essential services for all of us,” explained Victory School teacher Kiersten Neufeld in a post on the school’s Twitter page.

“Victory School is asking our family and community members to take a few minutes to join us in making thank-you signs for the essential service workers.”

The school is asking its students — and the rest of Winnipeg — to take a picture of the signs they create and post them to social media with the hashtag #victoryschoolmb.

“Join us in posting signs and showing our appreciation for all of our essential service workers!” tweeted Neufeld.

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Victory School has about 250 children in kindergarten to Grade 5.

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Stop calling 911 for COVID-19 testing: Waterloo CAO

A Region of Waterloo official says that people have been calling 911 in an effort to get tested quicker for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“I want to send an important reminder to citizens about the appropriate use of 911,” Waterloo Region CAO Mike Murray said Wednesday morning.

“Please do not dial 911 in an attempt to jump the queue and get tested for COVID-19.”

Murray says the region has received several reports of people misusing the emergency hotline.

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Coronavirus: Trump warns of ‘suicides by thousands’ if U.S. businesses don’t re-open soon

United States President Donald Trump said there would be “suicides by the thousands” if businesses were not re-opened soon, despite warnings from the World Health Organization that the country could become the new epicentre of the novel coronavirus.

Speaking on the White House front lawn for a Fox News town hall, Trump spoke of scaling back social distancing and re-opening restaurants and businesses, insisting that the U.S. “wasn’t built to be shut down.”

“I don’t want the cure be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said.

Previously, Trump said he would “love” to re-open the economy by Easter, on April 12, adding the U.S. government would make its decision after a 15-day period.

The president’s comments go directly against the advice of the country’s medical professionals, who have pushed for social distancing and self-isolation to help flatten the curve of the pandemic.

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By Tuesday, the World Health Organization had announced over 42,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., increasing the country’s death toll to 471.

Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the organization, told reporters Tuesday they saw a “very large acceleration” of confirmed cases across the country in recent days. She said 40 per cent of new cases found within the last 24 hours came from the U.S.

By contrast, Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam said Tuesday that Canada had confirmed 2,170 cases of the new coronavirus and recorded 25 deaths — raising questions about how the Canada-U.S. border would be affected should Trump ease restrictions to jump-start the economy.

Currently, the Canadian government has moved to limit all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border for tourism and recreational purposes in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

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