Although Quebec’s CAQ government continues to maintain that Covid-19 cases in schools across the province remain stable – the numbers published by their own Ministry of Education do not appear to uphold those conclusions. Their data includes pre-school, elementary and high schools in both the public and private sectors (as well as vocational and adult education centres). As of Thursday November 27th, 2,070 schools have reported at least one confirmed case of Covid-19 since the school year started (compared to 635 schools reported on September 29th) with 1,013 now dealing with active cases.
There are presently 1,018 class closures – with 882 in public schools and 136 in private schools (where the majority of cases have been reported) and 3 schools currently closed or partially closed. A total of 11,293 students and 2,648 teachers have now been diagnosed with Covid-19 since the start of the school year in September. Cumulatively, there have been 13,941 schools with 3,359 active cases – 2,808 in the public sector and 551 in the private sector, since the start of the pandemic. Of those numbers, 10,582 students and staff have recovered after being infected.
Should the Quebec government close the schools?
Since schools reopened, there have been temporary class closures, but no complete shutdowns. The government has upheld their theory that the infections in schools are not the main source of transmission, but a ‘reflection’ of what is going on from outside in the community. Still, several experts in the field of infectious disease and public health feel quite differently – maintaining that the main spread of the virus is coming from schools and out into the community instead, of which the government refuses to acknowledge.
More importantly, all the constant changes students have been experiencing in their schedules and curriculum are proving to have serious implications on their well-being, making them feel increasingly stressed and worried. Closing schools have proven to be challenging as well, with social-isolation taking its toll. Is online learning the best option? The question remains, where do we go from here as the virus continues to spread – with no real end in sight?
For the governments full list of schools go to.