MONTREAL -- The Quebec government will be deploying more than 1,000 prevention officers across the province to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it announced on Monday.

Minister of Labour Jean Boulet said the teams will be scattered across Quebec, with a heavier presence in Montreal – the province’s COVID-19 epicentre. 

The officers will educate employers and workers on health standards that must be implemented in the workplace to reduce the spread of the virus. They will be able to follow-up with workplaces and answer questions employees may have about the virtual COVID-19 guides their employers supply them with, for example. 

The teams – originating from different departments and agencies – have been trained according to standards outlined by the Commission des normes, de l'assurance, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

More than 20 sectors will be the focus of this initiative, including retail, personal care, finance, manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Others will be added as public health officials gradually reopen different sectors. 

The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) are already collaborating on construction sites. The partnership allows for targeted interventions that aim to protect the health of workers. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2020.