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Experts say Quebec schools are a big reason for the spread of COVID-19

Experts say Quebec schools are a big reason for the spread of COVID-19
Stephanie Nantel / Moment / Getty Images

14 days after school started, cases were surging.

As of yesterday, the Quebec government reported there are now 1,642 schools across the province with at least one positive COVID-19 case. The numbers unveiled by the province’s education board consist of pre-school, elementary, high school, and trade schools throughout Quebec— and according to the stats, the number of confirmed cases within Quebec schools now totals 8,129 between staff and students.

With this report, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some experts are now saying Montreal schools are the driving force of COVID-19 spread.

“Schools were the driver to start the second wave in Quebec, although the government did not recognize it,” Dr. Karl Weiss, president of the Association des médecins microbiologistes-infectiologues du Québec, said in an interview Thursday.

“The number of cases started to go up 14 days after the French-language schools opened and 14 days after the English ones opened in Montreal. Schools are certainly a driver."

CBC News also spoke to Dr. Earl Rubin (director of pediatric infectious diseases at the Montreal Children's Hospital), who said schools clearly played a role in the rise of new cases throughout the month of September.

Meanwhile, Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, claims schools are not the main cause of the spread of the virus.

"We knew that we would have some outbreaks. But it's not only schools. There are outbreaks in schools, but not big ones," Arruda said in an interview last week.

Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin, however, doesn’t seem to be on the same page, warning that schools remain a problem and they account for most of the city's outbreaks.

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