Quebec schools report thousands of active coronavirus cases among students and staff
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Schools in Quebec are grappling with more than 2,300 active COVID-19 cases among students and staff, according to government data.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 231 active outbreaks in educational facilities, representing 32.3 per cent of active outbreaks across the province.
There are 1,891 students and 431 staff members with active COVID-19 infections, according to a report published by the province on Feb. 25.
Since classes resumed on Jan. 5, a total of 1,848 schools have reported at least one coronavirus case, or 61 per cent of the 2,994 schools in the Quebec system.
In the first semester, 17,327 students and 4,038 staff members had contracted COVID-19 before schools closed for the holidays on Dec. 22.
Elementary-school students in Greater Montreal will have to wear a medical mask in class after spring break.
Starting March 9, students from Grade 1 to Grade 6 will need to wear a mask at all times indoors and while riding school transportation.
Certain students with special needs are exempt and the rule does not apply on the playground.
Kids in many other regions will follow.
A recent study found that schools with in-person classes have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal.
“The transmission of COVID among school-age children is not a consequence, but rather a determinant of the general level of infection in surrounding communities,” wrote researchers.
The study was conducted by researchers at Universite de Montreal and George Washington University.
According to their data, the Montreal boroughs with the highest levels of COVID cases among children under age 19 are in areas with “the highest number of schools reporting COVID-19 cases and the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools.”
-- With files from CTV News reporters Amy Luft, Daniel J. Rowe, and Adam Kovac, as well as from the Canadian Press.