Quebec considers temporarily closing schools as COVID-19 cases continue to rise
By Daniel J. Rowe, CTV Montreal
MONTREAL — Premier Francois Legault admitted at a news conference on Thursday that his government is considering closing schools temporarily as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to increase.
He added that no decisions have been made yet and that the measure is a last resort.
Since the start of the school year 9,775 students and staff at both public and private institutions have tested positive for the disease. As of Nov. 10 (the government's latest update) 2,899 of those cases were active and 1,174 classes were closed across the province.
Quebec reported Thursday that 42 more people have died due to COVID-19 on Thursday, as another region enters the province's highest alert status.
Public health officials also said that 1,365 more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the province bringing the total number of cases to 119,894 since the start of the pandemic.
There have been an average of 1,262 new cases each day for the past week.
Of the 42 deaths, nine were reported in the past 24 hours with 27 reported between Nov. 5 and Nov. 10. Two deaths were also reported before Nov. 5 and four from an unknown date.
Montreal reported eight of those deaths (3,562 total), Chaudiere-Appalaches reported six (93 total), as did Monteregie (777 total), and the Quebec City region reported five new deaths (367 total).
The Estrie (Eastern Townships region) is the latest to enter the red zone and added 73 new cases Thursday (3,359 total) and four more deaths (51 total). The highest increases were found in Montreal with 325 new confirmed cases (45,612 total), Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean with 197 new (2,608 total), Monteregie with 172 new (17,338 total), and Lanaudiere with 138 new (9.078)
Laval's 76 new cases make it the third region with over 10,000 new confirmed cases, as the island now has reported 10,057 total cases.
Quebec's Institute of Public Health reports that there are now 11,930 active COVID-19 cases. The highest percentage of those outbreaks have been in the workplace where Quebec reports 741 active outbreaks (49.1 per cent). Educational facilities account for 415 outbreaks (27.5 per cent), and living and care environments account for 193 active outbreaks (12.8 per cent).
The number of hospitalizations in the province also increased Thursday with 10 more people being treated in the province's hospitals. That total is now 583. Of those, 86 people are in the intensive care ward, which is an increase of two.
Quebec also reports that 843 more people have recovered from the disease bringing that total to 101,407.