Highschool college students in Quebec’s pink zones will be required to put on masks within the classroom, organized sports activities can be prohibited and gymnasiums closed below new restrictions aimed toward containing the unfold of the coronavirus.
The brand new guidelines, introduced as we speak, go into impact Oct. 8 till not less than Oct. 28.
Training Minister Jean-François Roberge mentioned college students in Grade 10 and 11 will pivot to a hybrid type of education, the place they are going to be bodily in class just one out of each two days to scale back class sizes.
Roberge mentioned all intramural sports activities, competitions between colleges and college outings can be prohibited in pink zones.
Gymnasium lessons and in-school sports activities can be allowed on the situation that each one college students stay inside the identical teams as they do for his or her lessons.
Roberge mentioned the brand new restrictions are an try to restrict publicity to 2 bubbles: the classroom and residential.
“All of the actions we’re taking may and will stop us from closing colleges,” he mentioned.
Previous to the brand new restrictions, college students Grade 4 and up have been required to put on a masks when strolling in indoor shared areas, equivalent to hallways, and whereas on the varsity bus, however the province had resisted making masks obligatory within the classroom.
Roberge mentioned masks nonetheless will not be required within the classroom for elementary faculty college students.
As of Thursday, in-person programs and actions in universities and CEGEPs (neighborhood faculties) are additionally suspended in pink zones, with solely restricted exceptions.
Many higher-learning establishments had already determined to maneuver their semesters on-line, however sure actions, equivalent to labs, had been permitted.
On Monday, Quebec reported the best single-day complete because the pandemic began, with 1,191 new instances.
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The better Montreal space, in addition to the Quebec Metropolis and the Chaudière-Appalaches areas, have been designated as pink zones below the province’s COVID-19 alert system final week. As of midnight Monday, three towns in the Gaspé region will be a part of them.
As of Oct. 2, there have been 1,423 lively COVID-19 instances in Quebec colleges, throughout the province’s community of 3,089 private and non-private colleges.
No extra sports activities, for now
The brand new prohibitions on sports activities and gymnasiums prolong to organized leisure actions equivalent to yoga and aerobics.
Isabelle Charest, the province’s minister accountable for sports activities, mentioned she was dissatisfied to make the announcement however they have been mandatory given the rise in instances.
“I understand how necessary sport is to highschool success, for psychological well being, for motivation and, after all, for bodily health,” mentioned Charest, a former Olympian short-track speedskater.
“I understand how necessary sports activities are, however this ordeal we’re going by way of, it requires sacrifice on all our components.”
Monday was the fourth day in a row the place Quebec’s every day complete has exceeded 1,000.
Final spring, there have been solely 5 days when the province noticed greater than 1,000 instances — the best of which was on April 15, when there have been 1,104 instances reported.
Though the speed of optimistic outcomes was larger in April and Might, suggesting there have been extra instances in the neighborhood at the moment, specialists say the second wave of the virus presents distinct challenges.
Hospitalizations have additionally begun to climb within the province in latest days.