Sports and arts outside of class 'bubbles' allowed in Quebec schools as of Monday

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MONTREAL -- Students at Quebec schools will be able to participate in sports and arts activities outside of their classroom bubbles as of Sept. 14.

At the end of August, Premier Francois Legault said the province would be able to go forth with this step if the COVID-19 situation in Quebec remained stable.

Friday's announcement means students who've been participating in extracurricular activities with their "bubbles" will, as of Monday, be able to do so with up to two other groups. This applies to both schools with "sports etudes" programs and those without them. 

Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge made the announcement at a press conference on Friday, specifying that this next step applies to schools in regions labelled green and yellow on Quebec's new regional alert system. 

Should a region move to the orange alert level, schools in those areas would have to revert back to closed-group activities. 

As of Friday, most Quebec regions are labelled green. However, the Quebec City, Eastern Townships, Outaouais and Laval regions are labelled yellow. 

"Let's work together to stay in yellow or green zones," Roberge said. "No, we don't want any red zones." 

This new phase also applies to schools that have had a confirmed case of COVID-19, Roberge said. The government's protocol when a school has a case is to isolate those it deems necessary depending on how the disease was transmitted.  

Last week, the Quebec government began sharing data on COVID-19 cases in schools across the province. In its latest tally, which dates back to Tuesday, it confirmed 118 cases of the disease at 70 institutions and was in the process of validating suspected cases at 50 others. 

In a statement on Thursday, however, Quebec announced it would be pausing its updates to adjust its system. 

"The system for collecting data on COVID-19 in schools, which was recently implemented, is currently undergoing adjustments," the government website reads. "Updating of documents providing an overall picture of the situation in schools is temporarily suspended."

Katelyn Thomas
CTV News Montreal Digital Reporter

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