QUEBEC CITY -- Quebec schools are grappling with thousands of coronavirus cases with 3,200 active infections among students and staff, according to government data.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 250 active outbreaks associated with educational facilities, representing 27.3 per cent of active outbreaks across the province.

There are 2,632 students and 568 staff members with active COVID-19 infections, according to a report published by the province on April 6, which covers both students attending classes and learning from home.

A total of 385 variant coronavirus cases have been reported in the Quebec school system. Of those, 212 are in the public school system, and 173 were found in private schools.

Since classes resumed on Jan. 5, a total of 2,177 schools have reported at least one coronavirus case, or 72 per cent of the 2,994 schools in the Quebec system.

Scroll to the bottom of the page or click here for a full list of schools with active infections

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.  

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This includes all staff in elementary and high schools, daycare workers, as well as police and firefighters, prison guards, social workers and other community workers who work with vulnerable people or those seeking mental health.

As for proof of employment, Dubé asked workers to bring whatever documentation they can, though he said inevitably the health system also has to "base ourselves on people's good faith."

The Quebec government is asking school boards, daycares and health networks to stop using a type of mask that Health Canada warned can be toxic to the lungs.

People have even been asked to "immediately store the boxes of masks in a secure and isolated location" after the alarming warning.

The grey and blue masks are identified by the code SNN200642 and are from the supplier Metallifer, the province said.

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-19 cases among children under 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 The Canadian Press and CTV News reporters Amy Luft, Daniel J. Rowe, and Adam Kovac.