COVID-19 outbreaks force 3 Quebec schools to close this week, including 2 in Montreal

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Three schools in Quebec, including two in Montreal, have had to send all of their students home this week due to COVID-19 outbreaks. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Three schools in Quebec, including two in Montreal, have had to send all of their students home this week due to COVID-19 outbreaks. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Three schools in Quebec have had to close this week due to COVID-19 outbreaks, including two in Montreal.

Saint-Émile elementary school, which is located in the city's Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie borough, will remain closed until next Tuesday.

The size of the school's outbreak is unclear.

In a letter sent by Montreal Public Health, and obtained by Radio-Canada, local officials told pupils' parents that there had been a rapid increase in cases recently.

Students and staff have been asked to get tested and to advise the school of the results.

Sainte-Odile elementary school, which is located in the city's Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough and has 530 students, also closed this week after several COVID-19 cases were detected among students. Students are expected back in class next Monday.

Both Sainte-Odile and Saint-Émile are schools with the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal.

The Coeur-Immaculé elementary school, which is in Sherbrooke, Que., reopened on Wednesday after being closed for two days. However, students from eight classrooms remain isolated at home.

In its latest projections regarding the spread of COVID-19, Quebec's provincial health institute — known by its French acronym INESSS — said the number of cases among people who are 17 and younger are on the rise even though the overall daily case totals have been stable.

"The effects of the return to school are increasingly visible," read the statement from the institute, which also projected an increase in the number of new hospitalizations over the coming weeks.

Last week, Health Minister Christian Dubé said rapid COVID-19 tests would be deployed to schools across Quebec. It's not clear if the three schools already have access to the testing kits.

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