Quebec is reporting at least 223 schools where there is at least one case of the novel coronavirus Tuesday after the government resumed publishing a list of affected academic institutions.
The latest figures, which stem from Monday, show that there are 377 cases of COVID-19 in preschool, elementary and high schools as well as adult education centres in the province.
To date, there are 296 students — the majority of whom attend public schools — who have contracted the virus. As of Monday, officials say 81 staff members have tested positive for the new coronavirus
There are 2,685 schools in Quebec and more than one million students who attend them.
When asked about cases in schools, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said the province will maintain its current preventive measures. Masks are mandatory in common rooms for staff and students Grades 5 and up, but they are not required in the classroom.
“Our plan is to stick to our plan,” he told reporters in Quebec City.
As the number of new infections in Quebec continues to rise, Premier François Legault said Tuesday he doesn’t want to close schools and he called on citizens to abide by public health directives to limit the spread of the virus.
Montreal’s director of public health also addressed the rising number of cases, saying the situation is largely under control in the city’s schools.
Dr. Mylène Drouin said there are are seven outbreaks at schools in the region, but most of them are relatively small. To date, 125 schools have reported cases — representing more than half of the total number of affected schools in Quebec.
The new numbers come after the province temporarily halted publishing lists of schools affected by the pandemic last week, citing errors.
Earlier this month, the government unveiled the case counts in schools after being criticized over a perceived lack of transparency about the progression of the virus in the education system.
In Montreal, a father has taken his own approach to publishing lists of COVID-19 cases based on letters issued by health and school authorities. As of Tuesday afternoon, COVID Écoles Québec listed 320 schools where there is at least one infection.
— With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier, Raquel Fletcher and the Canadian Press