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The governments plan for the return to school

The governments plan for the return to school
/ Emilie Nadeau

In today’s conference The Government of Quebec announced their plan for the return to school. 

Today, the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, and the National Director of Public Health, Horacio Arruda to present the updated school plan

The 2020 school year will be under the sign of the mask. Quebec has revised its plan for the school. All elementary and secondary students will return to class in the fall, with the exception of those with a special medical condition. Wearing a mask will be compulsory.

Wearing a mask will be compulsory for all kids starting from grade 5 (elementary school) (children 10 years of age and over), plus, those in secondary school, vocational training and general adult education, as well as for all school personnel. 

Although recommended it is not manditory for children in preschool , as well as children from 1st - 4th grade to wear them.

There will be sanitary measures, such as access to disinfectant gel, entry of students through various doors.

Masks will not be compulsory in the classrooms, nor in the rooms used for lunch, during the consumption of food or drinks;

Quebec will no longer apply the concept of a six-student “bubble”; the whole of a class-group is considered to be part of the same group. There will be no social distancing measures in the classes, said the minister. "It is important that the students stay together, in a classroom," to maximize student protection, says Roberge. It will therefore not be necessary to make sub-groups as it was announced last June. Students in these "class groups" will not have to respect a physical distance between them.

As of August 24 in Quebec, wearing a mask for 10-year-old children will also become mandatory in public transport, in school transport, in all indoor public places as well as outdoor ones that do not allow a physical distancing of 2 meters. 

If a child is diagnosed with COVID-19 positive, all parents and school staff will be notified by the school. People considered "at moderate or high risk" will also be removed from the contaminated environment and tested. The sick child will have to isolate himself at home.

In the event of a class or school closing, students will all have access to online courses and academic monitoring, assures Mr. Roberge. "We are betting on transparency," said the minister, who assures us that if cases of COVID-19 are detected in a school, parents will be informed.

In all cases, public health authorities must nevertheless provide detailed instructions to the affected establishment. The school will also be responsible for informing all parents and staff.

Finally, if a student has symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, severe fatigue, general muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea) in a class, they will be immediately isolated. Only one staff member should look after the student while waiting for a parent to pick him up.

The room will be ventilated, cleaned and disinfected after the departure of the student, an emergency kit (mask, glasses, gloves) will be provided.

Quebec ensures that a online education will be available to all students who, for medical reasons, will not be able to start school again in September. In an effort to reassure parents, students with a loved one with a particular medical condition may also be eligible for this service offer. Online education will also be offered to all students who will need to go into isolation in the event of an outbreak or symptoms of COVID-19.

There is still work to be done in the schools; It is a priority that we make this return to school a success. But it is crucial to reopen our schools. Leaving them closed does not protect our children. " - Mr. Roberge

If a child has symptoms at home, parents should contact 1-877-644-4545 as soon as possible. 

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