After the fourth consecutive day of confirmed cases topping 1,000, the Quebec Ministers of Education announces additional regulations to curb the current spread of COVID-19. Education Minister Jean-François Roberge, as well as Isabelle Charest, Delegate Education Minister & Responsible for the Status of Women, Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann, and Dr. Richard Massé, Public Health epidemiologist, are present.

There are no changes to face-covering requirements for elementary students.

As of next Thursday, high school students have to wear face coverings as soon as they step on school property. Teachers are expected to wear their masks in teacher’s lounges in addition to current requirements.

To limit the spread of the virus, the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, has announced the return of the principle of class groups.

Roberge plans to further reduce class sizes and time spent in the actual classroom by expanding online learning to additional students in grades 10 and 11, specifically. Senior secondary 4 and 5 classes will only be expected to attend school every other day to limit the number of students in the school at any given time. The shift to hybrid learning will begin on Thursday, Oct. 8th.

“This will decrease by 20% the number of students on buses, in hallways, and in the cafeterias,” claims Roberge.

Lunchtime will be held in classrooms, as much as possible. If the students are eating in cafeterias, tables will be identified for sub-groups to sit in to prevent intermingling.

Public transportation to and from school will now be assigned seating with one student per bench, ideally.

Face coverings are not required during physical education classes for students of any grade.

“I’m calling on students to adopt these new measures and respect them. I’m calling on parents to explain to them and accept them,” said Roberge.

Sports-Études programs will remain in effect as long as students respect the 2m social distancing rules and remain within their designated class groups.

New employment opportunities have been made available online for those interested in helping schools maintain cleanliness and monitors to promote safety. They will be hiring a minimum of 2,000 candidates as janitors and monitors. The monitors are especially needed in high schools. Salaries are expected to be $20/hr to $24/hr. To apply for these opportunities, visit https://www.quebec.ca/en/employment/job-offers/workers-urgently-covid-19/.

As of the 8th of October, all CEGEPs and universities in red zones must apply their designated emergency protocols.

Higher education institutions have been asked to hold all activities remotely. Some exceptions include students that require an educator present such as research facilities and labs.

“Anything that can be done remotely, should be done remotely,” requests Higher Education Minister McCann.

Socialization activities on campus are strictly prohibited.

Student residences will remain open, but external visitors are prohibited. If a student lives alone, they may have one guest who also lives alone.

Minister McCann asks staff to pay a particularly close eye to students in their first year of university.

“You should not hesitate to ask for help and accompanying measures,” directs McCann to students.

Group sports activities have been suspended until October 28th. Sports and leisure infrastructures can remain open but they will need to be modulated to maintain safe capacities. Gyms will have to close as of October 8th until the end of the month, but financial assistance will be made available to those affected in the next couple of days.

“If we respect public health measures then we will be able to return to normal activities sooner,” assured Minister Charest.

These new measures are expected to help flatten the curve and will be in place until at least October 28th.

There will be another press conference this evening at 5 pm where Premier Legault will be joined by Health Minister‬ Christian Dubé, Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda, and Éric Caire, Minister of Government Digital Transformation.

It is anticipated that they will explain the deployment of the federal COVID-19 tracking application plan.

COVID-19 Summary Data Evolution Table

Date Confirmed cases Deaths Hospitalizations Hospitalizations in intensive care Tests performed
Sept 28 799 6 247 (+35) 41 (+4) 25 298
Sept 29 838 8 262 (+15) 43 (+2) 33 510
Sept 30 933 13 275 (+13) 46 (+3) 30 948
Oct 1 1 052 6 302 (+27) 49 (+3) 28 778
Oct 2 1 107 5 + 2 Unknown date 326 (+24) 60 (+11) 27 453
Oct 3 1 079 4 + 1 Unknown date 334 (+8) 64 (+4) 25 203
Oct 4 1 191 2 + 1 Unknown date 361 (+27) 62 (-2) NA

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