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Quebec City elementary school shutters for two weeks due to coronavirus outbreak

Last week, the school was the site of a massive screening operation. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus has forced the closure of an elementary school in Quebec City for two weeks.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said Sunday that 20 students and five staff members at Sans-Frontière elementary school contracted COVID-19.

“As a security measure, public health has decided to close the school until October 2,” he wrote on Twitter.

Last week, a mobile testing clinic was deployed to the school after an outbreak was reported. At the time, the regional public health authority in Quebec City said at least 300 people would be screened for the virus.

READ MORE: Coronavirus outbreak leads to major screening operation at Quebec City school

Roberge said the province’s emergency protocol will be enacted, which means the school will soon move to online learning during the duration of the closure.

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“Despite this worrying situation that we are monitoring closely, I want to reassure the students, their parents, and the staff: our schools remain safe places,” he wrote on Twitter.

“However, we must redouble our vigilance to slow the progression of the virus.”

The announcement came shortly after the province announced the alert level for Quebec City had been raised to orange amid a growing number of cases. New restrictions in place include limiting the number of people for social gatherings and reducing bar hours.

This is the second school reported to have closed due to COVID-19 since students headed back to class in August. Herzliah High School also suspended in-person classes last week after an outbreak that led to 15 cases.

In Quebec, 507 confirmed cases have been reported across elementary and high schools as well as adult education centres to date. The infections are in 272 schools in the public and private network.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Quebec announces new restrictions after reporting second straight day with over 400 new cases' Coronavirus: Quebec announces new restrictions after reporting second straight day with over 400 new cases
Coronavirus: Quebec announces new restrictions after reporting second straight day with over 400 new cases – Sep 20, 2020

With files from the Canadian Press

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