The Chief public health officer says there is no need to immediately rush to a COVID-19 testing facility when a child feels ill.

When a child wakes up sick during the pandemic, parents may be concerned about what illness they may have. With the respiratory season in full swing during the pandemic many people are uncertain of what illness their child could have. Dr. Brent Roussin says that with large demands for testing in mind, parents should take several steps before sending their students for COVID-19 testing.

The first thing Roussin says to do is for the child to stay home.

"The message that we would have for this is 'stay home when you are sick, certainly seek healthcare when you feel you need it.' It is safe to seek healthcare," Roussin says.

Before heading to the long lines at testing facilities, families can take the province's self-screening tool to determine if a child's symptoms could be connected to COVID-19.

mb covid symptoms(Screenshot/Government of Manitoba)

While monitoring for symptoms, if a parent thinks their child may have COVID-19, the province says they should seek testing immediately.

"For those individuals that we would suggest being tested as soon as possible and then to self-isolate pending results."

Roussin has previously stated an asymptomatic close contact of a potential COVID-19 case does not need to self-isolate unless they themselves demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms.  

The doctor says even if the child is feeling better they must stay home until the results come back negative.

If a student tests positive, Roussin says schools will be notified immediately by public health. 

"We see a lot of cases in the community so we are going to see cases in the school. We just are not seeing a lot of transmission in the school right now."

Roussin says despite the rising case numbers in Winnipeg they will not be making any changes to the current school guidelines.

"Public Health does not want to adversely affect schools or childcare."

In Winnipeg to date, there are almost three dozen schools on the province's potential exposure list, with most of the 33 schools being deemed as low risk.

Since the start of the pandemic in Manitoba, there have been 253 cases of COVID-19 in those aged 19 or younger. There have been no deaths in this age range.