June 2, 2021 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back to school in the fall without masks or class bubbles
Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge announced that elementary and high school students will go back to school without masks or class bubbles.
The government is also planning to put an end to virtual classes and physical distancing in classrooms and common areas, and to reinstate afterschool activities. School transportation and cafeterias will also return to their normal operations.
The plan will be updated in early August based on the vaccination coverage and the epidemiological situation.
“The last year has been fraught with challenges, especially in terms of learning. Thanks to the efforts of all Quebecers, today we can envisage a normal return to school in the fall. Our wish is that from day 1, everything will be in place so that students can return to school as they know it. We are confident that our youth will do what is needed in order to go back to school—go out in large numbers to get vaccinated,” said Jean-François Roberge.
By the time students go back to school in September, 75% of the population between the ages of 12 and 17 must have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health will be flexible with this threshold, depending on the epidemiological situation when school resumes.
However, school administrations must prepare an emergency plan and specific health measures in the event of an outbreak.
Health measures in schools
Frequent handwashing will be in effect during the 2021-2022 school year. Cleaning and disinfecting measures will also be maintained.
To ensure that air quality is closely monitored in elementary schools and high schools, the minister of Education will be purchasing CO2 detectors. The installation of detectors will be prioritized in schools with natural ventilation and those where the results obtained showed a carbon dioxide concentration above established standards when testing was done in the winter.
The director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that he promises to reassess his decision on the banning of proms.
“I promise to very quickly revisit the situation with my teams to see what potential conditions could allow proms to be held and, the other thing, is when. But an important part of the equation is going to be vaccination coverage,” said Dr. Arruda.