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Number of COVID-19 cases in schools on the rise in Quebec

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WATCH: The number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec schools is rising, with hundreds of active cases. Lower Canada College in Montreal is the latest school to fall prey to the virus. But as Gloria Henriquez reports, health officials insist schools are not a problem.

Two Lower Canada College (LCC) teachers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school.

The college located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough sent a letter to parents with the news Thursday.

“In order to limit the possibility of further transmission in the school and after consulting with Public Health, teachers and staff who were in close contact with these teachers have been asked to be tested for COVID-19 and will remain at home for a period of 14 days following their exposure,” the letter read in part.

Read more: Coronavirus: Quebec school bus drivers want to be informed of positive cases they’ve transported

According to the school’s headmaster Christopher Shannon, no student was exposed. Shannon says teachers are in full personal protective equipment when they are with students and maintain a two-metre distance at all times.

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Lower Canada College is just one of 489 schools that have reported cases of the virus in Quebec so far, according to numbers released by the province on Friday.

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It brings the total of cases in schools to 1,163 of which 722 are currently active.

Read more: Quebec reports 377 coronavirus cases at 223 schools

Olivier Drouin, a Montreal-based parent who decided to track COVID-19 cases in schools on a website he created, says he’s alarmed about the increase in cases lately.

Drouin believes it’s time for the government to take more measures in schools.

“I am worried and I would like at least — if the schools are going to stay open — that we introduce maybe mandatory masks in schools, or a little bit more of social distancing, or online learning,” Drouin said. “But [that] doesn’t seem the way the government is going right now.”
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Coronavirus: Parents worried over differing protocols in Quebec schools

Health officials insist schools are not a problem.

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READ MORE: Quebec raises coronavirus alert level for Montreal, other regions as situation becomes ‘critical’

“There are a lot of cases because there are a lot of schools and schools are a reflection of what’s going on in the community,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director.

“There’s going to be small outbreaks under control. If they are not in control then we can go to other steps.”

Arruda added that the virus is being brought into schools rather than it being a matter of schools driving the spread.