Concerns remain as Quebec students head back to class amid ongoing Omicron wave

Thousands of Quebec preschool, elementary and high school students will return to school this week after a few weeks of distance learning.

The winter back-to-school season is scheduled to start Monday, but could be jeopardized by the snowstorm expected in many parts of Quebec.

 Despite concerns about Omicron variant contagion of, the Legault government decided last Thursday to maintain the Jan. 17 date for the return to school.

Quebec has promised a series of measures to ensure a safe return to school. More masks will be available in schools and 7.2 million self-tests will be distributed for elementary school children.

The deployment of CO2 readers will continue until February and air purifiers will be installed in schools that request them.

The measures, however, are far from reassuring many parents and teachers who have criticized the government for being inconsistent and unclear in its communication.

Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge tried to be reassuring on Saturday in an open letter published in various media.

He said that with the experts of public health and school service centres, "no detail" has been neglected to provide a safe return to school.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 16, 2022. 

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