Schools are closing rapidly as the number of active cases in the school system reaches a maximum since the outbreak began. The virus has entered more than half of the schools in the province.
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As of December 17, 1,555 elementary and middle schools had identified at least one COVID-19 case, representing 52% of Quebec schools.
According to the Ministry of Education, the school network now has 7,512 active cases, representing a record from the spring of 2020.
Fewer than 47 schools were closed or partially closed before the Legalt government decreed to close completely by the end of Monday.
For many players in the school network, it was the right decision, albeit a little late. “It’s a testament to the gravity of the situation,” said Sylvain Mallet, president of the Autonomous Federation of Education.
The same article from the president of the Central des Union du Quebec, Eric Zingras, opined that the decision should have been taken last Thursday “while all Quebecs are looking forward”.
- Listen to the column by Sylvain Doncas, a high school math and science teacher and blogger Montreal Journal
“By knowing the same day, it does not give much time to turn around,” adds Nicholas Provost, president of the Quebec Federation of Educational Establishments directors.
He said many parents have already decided to keep their children at home this week. Private schools were also at the forefront by announcing the closure of their establishment on Sunday. This happened in the case of Charles-Lemoine College in South Shore, Montreal, where cases have been on the rise in recent days.
Rapid testing and vaccination
The holiday season came earlier than expected for thousands of school children, but nearly 150 schools will be available in the next few days for scheduled vaccination operations.
Parents can also go there and undergo rapid tests if the distribution is not complete. Some school service centers did not receive the equipment even on Monday.
In the Quebec City area, however, most students have to go home on Monday with valuable tests in their backpack. In the Greater Montreal area, distribution has also been completed at the highest number of service centers contacted Newspaper.
Back in January
Many people have a lot of doubts about whether students will return to class on January 10th. “Schools expect it to take longer after the holidays,” Privost said.
Some school service centers, such as those in Lawrence, have taken the initiative by sending parents a survey to find out if their computer equipment needs to be closed until January.
“It depends on the behavior that people have during the holidays,” adds Sylvain Mallet.
CO readers asked Quebec to equip classes with air exchangers to reduce the spread of the virus, as happened in Ontario.2 The promise before Christmas is still waiting for the majority of classes.
Central des Unions du Quebec is also calling for faster testing for staff and faster access to the third dose of the vaccine, with the academic year set to begin in January.
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Bernard Drainville, New Education commentator