Quebec to announce increased health measures for schools in COVID-19 red zones

THE CANADIAN PRESS Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL -- After three consecutive days of recording more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 across the province, the Quebec government is set to announce tightened health measures for schools in the 'red zone' on its regional alert map. 

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge is scheduled to make the announcement during a press conference at 1 p.m. alongside the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest, and Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann. Richard Masse, public health strategic advisor for the provincial health minister, will also be present. 

The announcement comes as calls for increased health measures ripple across the province from teachers, parents and students alike. Many have said they don't feel the existing rules are strict enough to keep students and school staff safe amid the second wave of COVID-19. 

“When it comes to the actions of the government, I feel they've done almost nothing to keep us safe,” said Westmount High School teacher Robert Green.

As it stands, only students in Grade 5 and up are required to wear masks at school -- and only in common areas. Remote schooling isn't an option in Quebec, unless a parent decides to withdraw their child and home school them independently. 

The latest government data on COVID-19 in Quebec schools (from Oct. 1) shows that since the start of the school year, 2,141 cases of the disease have been recorded across 785 educational institutions. Most are in the public sector, but hundreds have been recorded in private institutions as well. 

Monday's announcement will also touch upon sports activities in schools in red zones, the government says. 

As of Monday, Quebec regions in red zones are Montreal and Laval, as well as parts of Quebec City, Chaudiere-Appalaches, Lanaudiere, the Laurentians, Monteregie and Gaspesie.

Katelyn Thomas
CTV News Montreal Digital Reporter

 

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