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South Shore police forces to make rounds in schools as new COVID-19 rules begin

Click to play video 'Longueil Police trying to encourage young people and their parents to act responsibly in the red zone' Longueil Police trying to encourage young people and their parents to act responsibly in the red zone
WATCH: According to the Quebec government, young people seem to be the vessels of transmission when it comes to spreading COVID-19. On Thursday, the first day of mandatory masks in high school, authorities and school officials did their part to educate students about staying COVID-free in the red zone – Oct 8, 2020

Several South Shore police forces announced they’ll be touring schools on Thursday to educate students on the new government health measures.

The initiative comes after the Quebec government announced high school students in red zones will be required to wear masks or face coverings at all-times in school.

READ MORE: Premier Legault urges Quebecers to ‘stay home’ as spike in COVID-19 patients strains health-care system

The red zones, which are at a worrying number of coronavirus cases, include Montreal, Laval, some areas in the Laurentians and the Montérégie.

Montérégie, Longueuil and Richelieu-Saint-Laurent police forces will be joining the awareness program.

Quebec reported 900 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with seven additional deaths and 12 hospitalizations.

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According to authorities, risky behaviours have been noticed among teenagers in recent weeks.

The police forces hope to target young people in red zones to avoid future school closures.

Parents are being encouraged continue the discussion surrounding sanitary measures with their children.

Click to play video 'Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday' Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday
Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday – Oct 8, 2020

How students and staff are reacting in schools:

The new restrictions will not pose much difficulty at Marymount Academy in NDG according to students and staff.

“Honestly, not that much has changed. The students were already wearing the mask in class,” vice principal Laura Fiumidinisi said.

She said students understand the rules and have been following the directives. Despite not being obligatory at all times, the majority of students sported a mask and did not mind, according to Fiumidinisi.

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“As of Wednesday a teacher would ask a student to wear the mask– it was a request. Now it’s law,” said English Montreal School board spokesperson Mike Cohen.

The new regulations extend beyond the school building and will be enforced outside on school property as well.

Fiumidinisi said that outdoors is where students will have to get used to it.  “You have to remind them because its not the norm,” she said.

— With files from Global’s Brittany Henriques and Brayden Jagger Haines