Two weeks after the gradual resumption of classes, already more than a third of schools are affected by COVID-19. Despite everything, school environments represent only 6% of active outbreaks in Quebec.
According to the most recent government update, 1,122 facilities have active positive cases of children or teachers infected with the virus.
While the number of new cases generally decreases in Quebec, there are currently 624 closed classes across the province, figures from 4 p.m. last Friday show. Three schools are partially or fully closed due to the coronavirus.
But for the moment, if we are to believe the statistics, it seems that these are mostly isolated cases. There are only 83 active outbreaks in school settings, which represents only 6% of the total active outbreaks in Quebec.
Nearly half (46.7%) of outbreaks are still found in workplaces. Next come the living and care environments (33.9%) such as CHSLDs and private residences for the elderly.
By comparison, as of last November, schools accounted for nearly a third of all outbreaks in the province. On the eve of the holiday school break, 1,234 schools were struggling with active COVID-19 cases and 1,466 classes were closed.
Primary school children have been back in class since January 11. Sanitary measures have been strengthened. The mask is now mandatory at all times for fifth and sixth grade students.
The high school teens did not return to school until last Monday. They must now wear a procedure mask provided by their establishment.
Without going into panic, the epidemic situation in schools deserves to be followed very closely, believes Sylvain Mallette, president of the Autonomous Federation of Education.
“We must be very vigilant, we must ensure compliance with sanitary measures and precisely we must quickly detect the clues that could perhaps make us believe that we are perhaps after reliving or would be about to relive what we lived before the holiday break, ”he insists.
Shunned by the Legault government, rapid COVID-19 screening tests should also be used more in schools, believes Mr. Mallette.
While Quebec is limited to pilot projects in two schools in Montreal, the results of which will not be known before the end of the school year, Alberta is extending rapid tests to its school network.
According to Sonia Éthier, president of the CSQ, it is urgent to follow up on the recommendations of the expert group on air quality by applying the precautionary principle for staff and students.
“This calls for the immediate implementation of various measures that we are proposing, such as the immediate closure of unventilated rooms without windows and the withdrawal of pregnant women from establishments, in particular. It’s urgent! ”, She argued, in a statement sent to our Parliamentary Bureau.