Even though it goes against the directives from the World Health Organization and other experts’ opinions, the Quebec government said that schools in the province would remain ‘mostly’ open during a second wave of the pandemic – even in Covid ‘Red Alert’ areas.
Jean-Francois Roberge, Quebec’s Minister of Education said at a press conference on Thursday, that ‘only certain schools would need to close their doors’ and then ‘only temporarily’ in the regions that are under the ‘Red Alert’ designation. Giving some examples in what it means, he explained that if a particular region changes from a ‘Yellow Alert’ level to an ‘Orange Alert’, the schools effected will have to revert to a ‘sealed class bubble’. Extra-curricular activities would be stopped, as they raise the possibility of students intermingling outside their ‘bubbles’. If a region changes to the highest ‘Red Alert’ level, which means the number of Covid-19 cases is extremely serious, some schools could ‘temporarily’ close, he added – but the closures would not be ‘automatic’. Roberge did not say if there was any official documentation of the plan available – or if there was one, that he would it make it publicly accessible.
It has been challenging for teachers to follow the Quebec government directives, with some already exhausted from having to not only teach their students, but also to prepare lessons and disinfect the classrooms. Many parents are also confused, with some voicing their concerns on social media, questioning if their children are being used as an ‘experiment’. Some even wondering if Premier Legault’s plan to achieve ‘herd immunity’ is behind all of this – a plan he first brought up months ago and criticized by health experts.
Too many ‘unknowns’ remain about the Covid-19 virus, but Legault maintains that very few children are getting infected and if they do, they have very ‘little symptoms’ and recover quickly. However, not many children have been tested and some could be (or have been) asymptomatic. Doctors and scientists are now seeing some very disturbing, long-term health problems in patients who have recovered from the virus.
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