Elementary schools reopen in Quebec as COVID-19 cases climb in the province

Elementary schools are reopening their doors to students on Monday, as scheduled, despite climbing COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks.

Last Friday, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced Grade 1 and 2 students in elementary school are now required to wear a mask indoors, in common areas and on school buses, while masks remain required for all students above Grade 5.

"Unlike other places in the world, we have always prioritized the presence of students in the classroom, and we are eager to continue in this direction in 2021," said the minister on Friday.

Roberge said computers will be available for anyone wanting to attend class from a distance.

The holiday break continues for high school students, who will resume classes on Jan. 18.

Minister Roberge also announced Friday that the three regular report cards for the school year will be reduced to two. The second report card will be worth more to give students who had challenges during the first semester to recover some marks.

On Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the number of new cases of COVID-19 stood at 2,588, compared to 3,100 the day before.

On Sunday, Quebec reported 24,454 active cases in the province.

-- This report by the Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 11, 2021 with files from CTV News Digital Reporter Daniel J. Rowe.  

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