Quebec Makes Masks Mandatory for Grades 5 and Higher Except in Classrooms

MONTREAL—Quebecs updated back-to-school plan requires students in Grade 5 and up to wear masks in all common areas of school buildings, except in the classroom.

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said Monday the governments new strategy does away with the six-student bubble concept it had announced in June and instead focuses on making face-to-face communication between teachers and students as easy as possible.

“We want to preserve the ease of communication, contact face-to-face, facial expressions—these are important,” Roberge told a news conference in Montreal. He added that health and education experts advised his office against making masks mandatory inside classrooms.

Roberge said each classroom will be its own bubble, and students will not be required to maintain a two−metre distance with their classmates. There will be limited mixing between classes and in the event of an outbreak, the entire classroom bubble will be sent home to continue studies remotely.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebecs public health director, said while the government is not forcing students to wear masks all day, they can if they want to.

“For kids … we [will] organize schools in a different way with classes that are going to be closed—not mixing with others too much,” Arruda said. “Wearing a mask is difficult for an adult, so imagine for kids.”

And while all elementary and high school students will be expected to return to school at the end of the month, children who have a doctors note to suggest theyre at high risk of COVID-19 complications or who live with someone at risk, will be offered a remote learning service.

The province is also maintaining an option for students in Grades 10 and 11 to physically attend classes one out of every two days, if their school cannot organize stable classroom bubbles.

Roberge said in order to protect children from harm, schools need to fully reopen in order to offer students the ability Read More – Source