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Is Quebec hiding number of schools with Covid-19 cases?

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The number of schools with Covid-19 cases in Quebec, which the government has chosen to make public, is being questioned by many people. As of September 3rd, the number of schools reported was only 3. Then on Friday Sept 4th Health Minister Christian Dube had said there were actually about 30 schools on the list. However, by the end of the day, the province reported 47 schools with cases – and that number has been updated again. On Tuesday September 8th, Quebec added 28 more schools to the September 4th numbers, bringing it 70 schools.

At the press conference on Tuesday, when Jean-Francois Roberge, Quebec’s Education confirmed the 70 cases he also added that ’50 others (are) in the process of being validated’. As well, after a public outcry from parents, the government decided to make the list of schools with Covid-19 cases public. You can download the full list to date at: www.scribd.com/document/475428294/List-of-Quebec-schools-reporting-COVID-19-cases#from_embed.

It is possible those numbers will be updated again and be even higher. According the ‘Covid Ecoles Quebec’ website, created by Olivier Drouin (with experience as the Vice-President of a technology firm providing high-tech human resources software) who verifies all the information received and whose data tracking schools with Covid-19 are proving to be correct – there are 193 schools with at least one positive case in the province to date (at the time of the writing of this article). It would add another 73 schools and in contrast to what Quebec appears to say could be up to 120. Christian Dube, Quebec’s Health Minister said that the number of schools with confirmed cases ‘needs to be contextualized alongside the thousands of institutions across the province’. The discrepancy between Drouin’s numbers and the Province’s could very well prove to ‘be due to a lag in data’ as she stated.
Could it also be a communication problem? A mathematical problem? Or the fear of a backlash by disclosing the actual numbers? You can find the Covid Ecoles Quebec list (a ‘Non-exhaustive inventory of the number of schools impacted by at least one case of COVID. Information validated and verified before publication’) at: www.covidecolesquebec.org/liste-alphabtique

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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