Quebec Schools Are Officially Reopening Next Week

From elementary schools to universities, back-to-school is happening, according to Legault.

Staff Writer
Quebec Schools Are Officially Reopening Next Week

To be fair, if you're a student in Quebec, this might be bad news but it's definitely good news for over-stressed parents. According to Premier François Legault, the province's back-to-school plan is moving forward as planned on Monday, January 17.

In a Facebook post, Legault said that "it's very important for children to go back to school, to learn, to get back with their friends, to regain a semblance of normality." All students, from elementary school to university, will have to enjoy their last weekend of freedom before heading back to class.

Legault claimed that "the vast majority of children do not face significant health risks with COVID. On the other hand," he said, "school delays and isolation can cause major problems."

The return to school could coincide with the removal of Quebec's controversial curfew. Reports indicate that the province is poised to lift the restriction on nighttime travel in the coming days.

Directly appealing to parents, Legault said that he understands if people might be worried about their child contracting COVID-19 while at school.

"What is reassuring is that 98% of high school teens are vaccinated with one dose and 89% with two doses," he said.

"Our primary school children are nearly 60% vaccinated for the first dose and their immune response is very strong at this age. Teachers, for their part, are massively vaccinated and have had priority access to the third dose since the end of December."

The government claims that rapid tests will be available in schools when kids return next week.

As for CEGEPs and universities, Legault said that students "will also be able to go back to school in person" but the institutions "will be given some leeway to adjust."

Legault Won't Lift Other Quebec COVID-19 Restrictions For Now

"For the moment we are at the worst of the pandemic."

Health measures in Quebec will not be changing in the immediate future, according to Premier François Legault. Despite a slowdown and, most recently, a slight decrease in hospitalizations, the situation is still too fragile to justify relaxing Quebec COVID-19 rules, he said.

"We seem to have reached the peak of hospitalizations today at last," he began in a press conference Thursday afternoon. "Yes, we can predict a decrease in hospitalizations soon, but for the moment we are at the worst of the pandemic with 3,400 hospitalizations."

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Legault is holding a press conference Thursday afternoon.

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The January 20 daily report comes as the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) releases its latest hospital occupancy projections. The institute noted that though hospitalizations are still high, they seem to have plateaued between January 8 and 14.

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According to a new study conducted by Maru Public Opinion, 27% of Quebecers would approve of forcing the unvaccinated to "serve up to five days as part of a jail sentence for endangering others/overwhelming health care system," which is in line with the national average.

More than half of Quebecers (55%) surveyed wouldn't even feel bad for unvaccinated people who end up really sick — or dying — from COVID-19, also in line with the Canadian average. Currently, 12% of Quebecers surveyed admit to refusing the vaccine.

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