Dozens of Quebec schools with COVID cases left off government list

The Quebec government may have significantly understated the number of schools in the province with at least one COVID-19 case, according to a Montreal parent who has compiled his own data.

On Friday, the government released their list, which had the names of 47 schools with at least one confirmed case of the virus. But Olivier Drouin said his own data shows very different numbers.

“As of now we've tallied over 80 cases,” he said. “That's 80 schools that have at least one case of COVID.”

A number of parents have reached out to CTV News to say that they have received letters from their children's schools, though those schools were not included in the government's list.

“There seems to be, essentially, a reporting delay or lag that is responsible for this discrepancy,” said Quebec English School Boards Association President Russell Copeman.

The government list only contains the names of schools that reported cases by the end of the day on Thursday.

“We are aware of a couple of school boards reporting COVID-19 positive results in either staff or students either very late on Thursday or on Friday,” said Copeman.

In a statement, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube defended the government's transparency during the pandemic and said daily data will be made available from all schools.

Copeman said delays in reporting are inevitable but that parents, as well as school staff members, should be told of positive cases as quickly as possible.

“The broader issue of the number of schools and the names of the schools and where they're located is, of course, important information that needs to be made available to the public,” he said. “But I think we all need to understand there is going to be a delay in that reporting.”

Drouin stood by his numbers, saying they're based on information from the government.

“I am confirming my cases with the letter that they themselves published to parents, so yes, they should know already,” he said.  

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