Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, the Association des paediatres du Québec urges the Legault government to reopen schools on January 11 and even to reassess the possibility of authorizing sports activities among young people, in whom we observe ” an alarming increase ”in psychological distress and mental health problems.
This can be read in a letter sent Monday at the end of the day to Prime Minister François Legault, to the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, and to the national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, whose The newspaper got copy.
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“We ask the Prime Minister to maintain the date of January 11, 2021 for the return to school of our young people, by taking all the necessary measures to detect and prevent the spread of the virus in schools and other sectors. of society ”, we can read in this letter signed in particular by the president of the Association, Dr. Marc Lebel.
Pediatricians argue that schools are not the main sources of contamination, since the vast majority of school outbreaks have five or fewer cases of COVID-19.
The cases recorded in schools are rather a reflection of community transmission, they say.
These doctors are also particularly worried about the “currently dramatic consequences on the mental health, motivation and academic success of adolescents”, in addition to the particularly harmful impacts for some of the absence of sport and socialization, combined with overuse of screens. .
They also assert “that an extension of the closure of schools for a short period of time probably means an indefinite closure which could continue for weeks or even months, since a significant and rapid decrease in cases of COVID 19 at this stage- this is unlikely ”.
“The primordial and fierce fight against COVID-19 must not come at the expense of an entire generation of young people,” they add.
A press conference with Prime Minister François Legault is scheduled for Wednesday. Several experts are calling for stricter containment to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec. The reopening of schools, first announced for January 11, is far from assured.