École Sans-Frontière in Quebec: more than 300 students and employees screened

The massive screening of more than 300 students and staff at Sans-Frontière elementary school in Quebec City began Wednesday morning.

In this school in the Vanier sector, three students from two class groups and “less than five” employees were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Due to a risk of transmission deemed “low”, Public Health has recommended that samples be taken from anyone who frequents the place, a first in the region.

The CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale evokes a “circumscribed” outbreak and an approach that is primarily preventive.

“Public Health has stated that the risk of transmission is low in nature; however, we come to analyze, we come to take the samples, really, to make sure that there was no other transmission. That’s why we’re here, ”said Serge Garneau, deputy director of general health services at the CIUSSS.

Photo Dominique Lelièvre

A mobile clinic and two teams of scouts will be on site from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday. The samples are taken in a gymnasium.

All students, from kindergarten 4 to 6e year, must spend there, as well as all teaching staff, day care service and administration.

“The COVID-19 situation concerns us, but the school is doing everything to prevent the spread of the virus,” noted André Pablo, father of 7 and 4-year-old girls.

At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, around 100 students and employees had already been received by the mobile clinic.

Photo QMI Agency, Marc Vallières

“It’s going very well, there is a good collaboration” estimated Serge Garneau at the start of the day.

The two classes officially affected by COVID-19 have been withdrawn from the school environment for 14 days. The mobile screening clinic will target children and adults from other classes.

Unless they show symptoms, children can continue their academic progress physically in the school, without waiting for the result of their test, said Mr. Garneau.

As for the children who are symptomatic or who attend the two isolated groups, they are directed to traditional screening sites, in particular that of Fleur-de-Lys.

Another mother, Sandra Chrétien, said she was reassured by the way the establishment is handling the situation.

“It was the risk to take, to reopen the schools. We’ll live with it if that happens, that’s all. I’m not worried at all, we’ll do the right thing, ”she said, leading her 6-year-old son to school.

According to Quebec’s official list, cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in a total of 32 schools in the Capitale-Nationale as of Monday.

The CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale assures us that it is ready to carry out massive screening in other settings, if necessary.

“We had prepared for the second wave, at the start of the school year, and that was part of our scenarios,” said Serge Garneau, who is responsible for designated COVID-19 clinics in the Capitale-Nationale.

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