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The Western Quebec School Board (WQSB) has confirmed 19 COVID-19 cases in its schools since the beginning of the school year. Of that number, two employees and 17 students tested positive for the virus. The Centre de services scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais (CSSPO) has confirmed 85 cases of COVID-19 since August 31, with 72 students and 13 staff members testing positive.

The province’s ministry of education, the WQSB’s council and the administration receive a full report on each incident, according to François Raymond, communications consultant for the WQSB.

The breakdown of confirmed cases at the WQSB includes six at South Hull Elementary School, two cases at Wakefield Elementary School, four cases at Symmes Junior High School and D’Arcy McGee High School, three cases at Hadley Junior High School and Philemon Wright High School, one case at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School, one case at Lord Aylmer Elementary School and two cases at Buckingham Elementary School.

The CSSPO reported three cases at École du Vieux-Verger, one at École du Dôme, two at École des Tournesols, 15 at École secondaire de l’Île, three at École du Lac-des-Fées, four at École du Plateau, one at École Notre-Dame, one at École des Deux-Ruisseaux, 10 at École du Marais, two at École des Rapides-Deschênes, five at École de l’Amérique-Française and 11 at École secondaire Mont-Bleu. The school authority also saw three cases at École Saint-Paul, seven at École secondaire Grande-Rivière, two at École des métiers spécialisés Asticou, three at École internationale du Village, one at École du Grand-Boisé, two at Centre Saint-Raymond, two at École Saint-Rédempteur, one at the Centre Administratif, one at École du Parc-de-la-Montagne and one each at Centre l’Arrimage and Centre Lucien-Brault.

The Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge in early October announced new measures for schools that are in high alert COVID-19 zones in Quebec. On October 10, Gatineau was declared a red zone by the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais. According to separate press releases issued by the WQSB and the CSSPO on October 14 and October 11 respectively, high school students must wear mandatory masks at all times and Secondary IV and V students must follow a hybrid model of class attendance, where they attend school one out of every two days.

Both school authorities also pre-emptively adopted other red zone measures while the region was still declared an orange zone earlier in October. These measures included the prohibition of intramural sports and sport competitions between schools; the introduction of lunches in classrooms; and students remaining in one class bubble at all times.

The number of confirmed cases is accurate as of October 29.

[Local Journalism Initiative]

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