“Our measures are working, but we have to be very careful. »

 

 27 January 2021

As promised, the Government of Quebec is today unveiling a platform to recruit a large number of tutors to provide additional support to the most vulnerable students affected by the pandemic. A series of complementary measures aimed at keeping students and school staff on track and promoting their well-being will be deployed. These measures, totalling nearly $38 million, will be implemented in the coming weeks. The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, made the announcement today.

Tutoring: Be there for our students!

To ensure that the most vulnerable students benefit from additional educational support and that they can create new links that will help them strengthen their motivation and promote their well-being, particularly outside of school hours, a tutoring program is being put in place to support them over the long term, until June 2022.

Thus, the government invites current, substitute or retired school system staff who wish to tutor to volunteer to help out. A call to college and university students is also being made to offer tutoring to students in difficulty. In all cases, tutors will be paid.

Student recruitment will be done through the Answer Now web platform, which is accessible now. This platform will facilitate the recruitment of volunteer resources by school organizations or by partner organizations who will hire them to work within the new support and tutoring services. Retired education staff will also be able to offer their services through this platform. As for current staff and substitutes, they will also be able to submit their applications directly to their school service center, school board or private educational institution.

Mental Health Coaching and Support

In addition, the funds granted will enable the school network to implement various additional support initiatives in training and coaching of school personnel, particularly for more specific problems, such as mental health and student well-being. These funds will be used to hire specialized resources, free up staff for training purposes and purchase equipment. The schools will have the necessary autonomy to implement the most promising initiatives according to the needs identified in their environment.

Related Links :

For more information on coronavirus, the public is invited to visit quebec.ca/coronavirus
https://www.alloprof.qc.ca
https://www.teljeunes.com

“It is essential to maintain our vigilance.”

 

 20 January 2021

Quebec Premier François Legault is calling on the federal government to ban non-essential international travel. He wants to avoid a repeat of the situation related to the March 2020 spring break, which could have disastrous consequences for our health care system.

It is understandable that some people have to travel for humanitarian reasons, but there is no reason to buy all-inclusive packages in the South when new, more contagious strains of coronavirus are appearing around the world. The Prime Minister is calling for a temporary federal ban on all non-essential travel while as many vulnerable people as possible are vaccinated. He also wants the federal government to further control the quarantine of people returning from abroad.

Worry in Montreal
Although data shows that Quebecers’ efforts are helping to reduce the number of positive cases, the situation in hospitals remains critical. Therefore, the Premier invites the population to remain very vigilant. The situation is particularly worrisome in Montreal, where, in some neighbourhoods, there are more than 500 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, i.e. :

  • Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel
  • Ahuntsic-Montreal-North
  • Northern St. Lawrence Island
  • Rivière-des-Prairies-Anjou-Montréal-Est

The number of tests performed will increase in these neighbourhoods to help stop the spread of the virus. The government also intends to increase testing wherever the number of outbreaks is on the rise, as the rapid detection of positive cases allows for the rapid isolation of individuals with VIDOC-19.

Related link :
To learn more about COVID-19: Québec.ca/coronavirus and the specific measures that will apply until February 8.

Vaccine acceleration of vulnerable people

 

 14 January 2021

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, today gave an update on the vaccination operation, which began a month ago and has resulted in the administration of 115,704 doses of vaccine to date.

The Minister was accompanied by Daniel Paré, director of the VIDOC-19 vaccination campaign, and Dr. Richard Massé, strategic medical advisor at the Public Health Branch of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. A weekly press briefing will henceforth be held to provide an update on the vaccination campaign.

Nearly 65% of CHSLD residents received their first dose of the vaccine, or 25,799 out of approximately 40,000 residents. In addition, 85,167 members of the nursing staff were vaccinated. The remaining doses were administered to caregivers and people living in remote or isolated communities. As of today, daily vaccination data will be available as of 1 p.m. each day at Québec.ca/vaccinCOVID.

In addition, the experts announced during the technical briefing preceding the press briefing that they recommend that the second dose of the vaccine be administered between 42 and 90 days after the first dose. This is the best strategy in this context, given that Quebec has to deal with very few vaccines. The goal is to vaccinate as many vulnerable people as possible to save lives and reduce the pressure on our health care system.

While the situation in hospitals is critical, Minister Dubé also reiterated the importance of respecting health measures to avoid dramatic consequences for the health network, patients and the population. According to the latest projections by the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS), although the increase in projected new hospitalizations seems to be stabilizing, there is a real risk that the network’s capacity will be exceeded in the Montreal area over the next three weeks. More than 80% of the regular and intensive care beds designated for patients with COVID-19 are already occupied.

COVID-19 : An updated plan for education

 

 11 January 2021

In order to ensure a return to school in the safest possible conditions on January 11 and 18, the Minister of Education, Mr. Jean-François Roberge, accompanied by Dr. Richard Massé, strategic medical advisor at the Direction de la santé publique, announced the implementation of a series of new educational and health measures. This updated plan will provide students and staff with all the support they need to continue the school year.

Implementation of a tutoring program and additional measures for academic success and mental health
First, to further support students experiencing academic difficulties, the government is announcing the launch of various tutoring programs that will begin in late January. Through the “Answer Now” platform, a bank of tutors will be established and a call will be made to volunteer school service center staff, education retirees and college and university students to support students in need. Teachers will be able to refer their students to these free services. Educational forums accessible to students, seven days a week, will also be organized in collaboration with partner organizations.

In addition, a mobile application will be created allowing young people to access numerous resources, testimonials, videos, etc. This initiative, in collaboration with partner organizations, aims to provide more psychosocial support and strengthen the safety net needed to help students reach their full potential. In addition, spaces for exchange on themes that meet the needs of youth will be set up to help break isolation and offer avenues for stress management. A messaging service (chat) accessible throughout Quebec will also be provided by moderators and facilitators.

Cancellation of ministerial events and postponement of the first newsletter
As announced last fall, the current school year will have only two stages instead of three. In addition, given the situation, the production of the first report card, scheduled for January 22, can be postponed until February 5 if necessary. Also, as requested by several stakeholders, we will be changing the weighting of the report cards so that the first report card will have less importance. A new clear guide summarizing the essential knowledge that must be taught is also being produced by the Ministry and will be made available to teachers by the end of January. Under these circumstances, the ministerial exams at the primary and secondary levels are cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year.

To learn more : quebec.ca/coronavirus

Vaccination against Covid-19 continues to accelerate

 

 11 January 2021

The Premier of Quebec, Mr. François Legault, and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr. Christian Dubé, have announced that vaccination against VIDOC-19 among priority clienteles continues to accelerate in Quebec. More than half (53.7%) of CHSLD residents have been vaccinated to date, for a total of 21,478 people.

Yesterday, 8,400 doses of vaccine were administered, for a total of 92,452. Of the 115,375 doses received so far, 80 percent have already been administered.

Critical situation in Quebec hospitals
Moreover, the constant increase in cases and hospitalizations over the past few weeks has put enormous pressure on the health and social services network and its workers, so that several hospitals are currently at a maximum level of load shedding and are having difficulty performing urgent and oncological surgeries. If this trend continues, there could be an overflow of hospitalization and intensive care bed capacity for patients, both those with IDVOC-19 and those with other diseases.

There are 1,436 IDVOC patients in our hospitals. It is important to understand that IDVOC patients not only require beds, they also place demands on staff. A nurse who is with one COVID patient cannot be with another patient. The first reason we have to make an effort and limit our contact is to help the health care staff.

Given the seriousness of the situation, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux therefore asked several institutions in the Montreal, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentians and Montérégie regions to prepare to exceed their intensive care bed capacity. The situation is particularly critical in the Greater Montreal area, where the number of hospitalizations has more than doubled in the last month.

To learn more : quebec.ca/en/confinement

Curfew: Updates by the Deputy Premier

 

 8 January 2021

The Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Safety and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, Ms. Geneviève Guilbault, outlines the measures surrounding the curfew.

As of Saturday, January 9, a curfew will be in effect until February 8 inclusively. Between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., no one will be allowed to be outside their residence or property, unless exceptions are made.

Police officers will act with discernment and judgment, as they have since the beginning of the pandemic. They will continue to ensure that health measures are respected and will be able to intervene if a person is outside his or her residence during unauthorized hours. Offenders will be subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000.

Employers will be able to provide proof of necessary travel for their employees. Organizations that have not already produced one can obtain an example here.

“We know that these measures are demanding and require extra effort. Ultimately, we are doing it to protect our health care system and to save lives. The battle is not yet won, and we must protect Quebecers first and foremost. I would like to salute the work of the police officers who have been on the front lines for several months and who are doing a difficult job. They are allies in our fight against the virus and I sincerely thank them for that. »

Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Safety and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region

Highlights :

The following is a summary of permitted exceptions:

  • A person who is required to report to work;
  • A person who has to pick up medication after a medical appointment;
  • Going to or from a hospital or clinic, dentist or optometrist;
  • A person who has to go to the bedside of a sick or injured relative;
  • A student who is required to attend an evening classroom or laboratory in a recognized school;
  • A parent who must drive his or her children to the other parent who has custody of the children;
  • A person who returns from abroad (due to work) on an overnight flight and must return to his or her residence;
  • A person who needs to fill up with gas to get to work;
  • A person who needs to go outside so their dog can “relieve himself”;
  • A person who must accompany a person who is unable to drive to a medical appointment;
  • A parent who must accompany a sick child to the hospital;
  • A parent who has to drive a teenager to work.

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The fight is not over

 

 6 January 2021

The Premier of Quebec, Mr. François Legault, accompanied by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, and Quebec’s National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced the implementation of additional measures to break the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the safety of Quebecers, under the recommendation of public health experts.

This major blow, which is necessary, must be given to protect our seniors and relieve our health care system, whose condition remains more critical than ever in several regions of Quebec, while the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is on the rise.

These new measures will come into effect this Saturday and will be applicable for four weeks, until February 8, throughout Quebec, with the exception of the territories of Nunavik and the James Bay Cree Lands.

Curfew

As of Saturday, a curfew will be in effect. Between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., no one will be allowed to travel outside their place of residence, except in the case of exceptions that justify travel, such as for health care, humanitarian reasons or to perform work considered a priority.

Statements of offence may be issued by the police to those who do not respect the curfew unless their travel is justified. The Deputy Premier of Quebec and Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, will provide further details on this curfew.

Outside curfew hours, Quebecers will still be required to reduce their contact. It will no longer be possible for single people to join a family bubble. As of January 8, they will only be able to receive a single person, as was the case before the holiday season.

Closure of non-essential businesses

In offices, telework will continue to be mandatory. This means that all companies and office towers will have to be closed.

Non-essential businesses will remain closed until February 8. However, pick-up at the door will be permitted. It will be possible to buy a product online and have it delivered or picked up on site, without entering the store, while respecting health regulations.

In order to tie in with the 8 p.m. curfew, all businesses will have to close their doors no later than 7:30 p.m. However, restaurants will still be able to offer a delivery service.

Restaurants, gyms, theaters, cinemas, hair salons and places of worship will also be closed until February 8.

Pharmacies and gas stations will remain open as usual. Pharmacies will only be able to sell medicines and essential items, while gas stations will only be able to sell food, gasoline and road vehicle products.

Indoor and outdoor activities

All social, recreational or sports activities will now have to be limited to the family bubble. Concretely, activities such as walking and the practice of downhill and cross-country skiing will be tolerated, as long as it is not in a group. Indoor sports activities will be banned as of January 8, 2021, with the exception of physical education classes and special programs in school settings, the training of identified athletes and professional sports that have received authorization from Public Health.

It will no longer be permitted to participate in outdoor activities with eight people, unless they are all part of the same family bubble and live together in the same residence.

Downhill ski areas will remain open, but will not be able to offer evening skiing until February 8.

Please note that the authorization to operate film sets is maintained.

Places of worship will be closed. Funeral ceremonies will have to be postponed or limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Additional measures in schools

Keeping schools open remains one of the Quebec government’s top priorities.

Elementary schools will open their doors as scheduled on January 11th. Certain measures will be enhanced, particularly with regard to the wearing of face coverings: all children will have to wear one in the corridors and common areas and children in grades 5 and 6 will have to wear it in class.

Secondary schools will open one week later, on January 18, with some enhanced measures, including the distribution of two procedure masks per day per student and per teacher. Everyone will be required to wear a mask in class, without exception.

The wearing of face masks is not intended for the preschool cycle.

The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, is currently working on measures to help students succeed at school, reorganize exams and provide additional mental health assistance.

It should be noted that as of January 11, children will be able to study in municipal libraries, as long as they follow the instructions. This measure will allow young people who do not have Internet access at home to have access to it.

Educational childcare services remain open to all.

Learn more : Quebec.ca/coronavirus