Elevating the mask task in the classroom makes no sense: expert

Quebec is preparing to lift the requirement to wear masks in classrooms in all grades as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to decline. But one expert is questioning the value of dropping these measures.

Starting March 7, Quebec students will no longer have to wear masks while sitting in class. However, masks must still be worn in common areas, such as hallways and on school buses.

Dr Christopher Labos, a Montreal-based epidemiologist, said that “it is not clear yet what will be gained” from the removal of mask regulations in schools.

“When you’re talking about reopening bars, gyms, other businesses, the argument is made that it’s an economic one. Economic hardship will suffer when these things close for a while. long time,” Labos told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

He continued: “When it comes to masks, there is no economic problem. “There’s no real negative aspect to this other than that some people don’t like wearing masks for emotional or political reasons.”

The labs question why the province still mandates the wearing of masks in common areas if they are not required in classrooms.

“You don’t have to wear a mask in class, but you do have to wear one in the hallway. Like, what does that really do? Scientifically speaking, it really doesn’t make sense.” he said.

In a statement to CTV News Montreal, Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge on Tuesday said the easing of mask regulations was “one more step towards getting back the joy of going to school, regaining the joy of teaching. teach.” Quebec Premier François Legault also cited the declining rate of COVID-19-related absences in schools while speaking to reporters in Quebec City on Tuesday.

However, Labos notes that air quality in classrooms remains poor, due to a shortage of HEPA air filters in classrooms and many children between the ages of five and 11 who are still under-vaccinated. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, only 62% of Quebec children received the first dose and 37% received two doses.

“If the government had used this time, you know, radically updating the infrastructure and having air filters in every classroom … and near-complete vaccination rates for this entire age group. , I would say, ‘Okay, maybe that’s what Labos said.

This is not the first time that Quebec has lifted the requirement to wear school masks during the pandemic. Last November, the province announced that high school students would no longer be required to wear masks in class, although the mask regulation was reintroduced in the new year following the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

With the lifting of the mask rule, Labos said he expects to see more cases and deaths from COVID-19, as well as more spread of other respiratory viruses like influenza.

“When you wear a mask, you stop transmission,” he said. “We’re probably prepared to endure that. But I don’t know if people will fully appreciate what the impact of this will be.”

Quebec isn’t the first province to ease classroom mask regulations. The Government of Alberta lifted the requirement to wear masks in classrooms on February 14. In addition, the Chief Health Officer of Ontario said his team will review mask requirements in public spaces, including schools, with a decision on the matter expected in March. .

With files from CTV News Montreal.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button