Scientists, health-care professionals urge Quebec government to revise back-to-school plan

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In an open letter sent to Premier Francois Legault and other officials, some 150 signatories said the government’s health directives for students aren’t sufficient, school ventilation systems need to be updated, and families must be offered remote learning options

People take part in a rally in front of the offices of the Minister of Education to express their concerns with the Quebec government's back-to-school plan, in Montreal, on August 23, 2020.Quebec scientists and health-care professionals are urging the government to revise its back-to-school plan, saying the measures in place are inadequate to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

George Thanassoulis, an associate professor of medicine at McGill University and the letter’s main author, said Tuesday the province has done a good job of reducing the number of active COVID-19 cases. Thanassoulis said he was particularly surprised to learn that physical distancing requirements won’t be enforced in classrooms, despite government messaging on the importance keeping a one or two-metre distance from other people.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 62 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and three additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.But officials said the total number of deaths increased only by two, to 5,746, because one death previously added to the tally turned out to be unrelated.


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