Thousands of students will be wearing masks when returning to class in three week. During his press briefing on Monday August 10th , Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge specified that children aged 10 and over should cover their faces, but not in class.
No, students will not be required to wear a mask for long periods of time. The mask will not have to be worn indoors in the classroom or when students sit down to eat. But just like school staff, students will be required to wear a mask when traveling in the hallways or on school transportation.
A rumor was circulating that the students would be divided into subgroups within the classes. The reality is quite different. “Students will not be classified into sub-groups of six students, says Roberge. The concept of a bubble will thus be extended to the whole class, but it will have to remain stable. In class, students will not have to respect a physical distance between themselves. However, the 2-meter distance is maintained between young people and members of staff. As for the measures already in place, such as hand washing and disinfection of the premises, that will be maintained.”
Experts seem unanimous, there will be a second wave of Covid-19. If school closures are necessary, the minister of education promises that students will have the right to quality distance education.
A clear procedure to follow in the event of an outbreak
In order to react quickly in the event of an outbreak, an update of the INSPQ’s Guide for managing COVID-19 cases and contacts in schools will be sent to school organizations on August 17th. This guide includes, among other things, a clear procedure aimed at informing parents of the main actions that will be taken if a student exhibits symptoms, if a student tests positive for COVID-19, or if several cases are detected within the same class or several classes. In all cases, the parents of the school in question will be notified of the situation in the event of an outbreak and of the measures deployed as soon as possible by their school service center.
An adapted version of the Self-Care Guide – COVID 19 has also been developed to allow parents to make the best possible decisions during the pandemic. This guide allows you to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and the basic care to be given to your child, and to know when to contact the coronavirus info line. It will be sent to parents before the start of the school year and will be available in French and English on the Québec.ca / coronavirus web page.