Quebec health ministry unsure when coronavirus case numbers in schools will be disclosed

Two young students play in the school yard at the Bancroft Elementary School as students go back to school in Montreal, on Monday, August 31, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s health ministry has yet to release official data on novel coronavirus outbreaks in schools and says it is not sure when those numbers will be available.

Since schools began to reopen last week, cases of COVID-19 have been reported among students and teachers across the province.

Dr. Richard Massé, an advisor with Quebec health public health, said Monday that those cases are the result of community transmission and that they occurred before the start of the school year.

No school has closed in Quebec, but entire classes have been put in isolation as a result of COVID-19 cases.

Read more: English schools in Montreal welcome back students amid COVID-19 crisis

There have been reported cases of COVID-19 in elementary and high schools, as well as in CEGEPs in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

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However, there is no exhaustive list of coronavirus statistics for schools because the Quebec government has not released that information.

The province’s health ministry said Tuesday there is a possibility it will disclose information concerning cases in schools.

“For now, the Ministry of Health and Social Services has not yet released official data on outbreaks in schools,” spokesperson Marie-Louise Harvey said in an email exchange with The Canadian Press.

“You should know that for the sake of transparency towards the public, the ministry has always made sure to disclose the information surrounding the pandemic and will make sure to do so with regard to schools.”

Click to play video: 'Quebec’s English-language students head back to school' Quebec’s English-language students head back to school
Quebec’s English-language students head back to school – Aug 31, 2020

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