Monday, May 10

Public Health has often changed its mind on the issue of returning to high school

Back to school full time or not? The question concerning the fate of the pupils of 3e, 4e and 5e secondary school in the red zone gave rise to a waltz-hesitation in March. At least that is what we see from reading the opinions of the national director of public health, Dr Horacio Arruda, released Tuesday.

In a document dated March 16, Dr Horacio Arruda indicates that the students of 3e, 4e and 5e secondary school in the red regions “could resume their full-time attendance at school, as of April 5” if the “situation remains under control”.

Flip-flop on March 23: Public Health now recommends a return to full-time class as of March 29. To justify advancing full-time face-to-face, the Dr Horacio Arruda says he considers “the importance of education for high school students”, “the measures already in place in high schools” and the “vulnerability of the clientele on the island of Montreal”.

The Legault government follows the recommendation of Public Health. But almost a week after this relief came into effect, the Dr Horacio Arruda recommends a return to work-study training from April 8, noting that outbreaks are increasing in schools, “particularly in the most affected regions”. He indicates that the Ministry of Education reports “deep concern on the ground and resistance from certain circles in connection with the end of alternation in secondary school in the red zones”.

Quebec announces a return to work-study training as of April 12, four days after the suggested date.

In data | Our interactive content on COVID-19

Gatherings in places of worship

Another turnaround on the part of Public Health: in its opinion of March 16, the Dr Horacio Arruda recommends that places of worship in the red zone can accommodate, from March 26, up to a maximum of 25 people.

A week later, the national director of public health changes his tune. Rather, it recommends increasing the number of people admitted to places of worship, including in the red zone, to 250 from March 26. It bases its decision on “the imminent arrival of an important period for the majority of religions”, the fact that performance halls can accommodate up to 250 people and that a “rigorous protocol” has been established with the Table interreligious.

Further details will follow.

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