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KI Update: Health measures that apply in the youth and adult education sectors

Press Release

Following the announcement of new health guidelines by the Ministry of Education on August 10, 2020, the school board has revised the health measures that will apply at schools and adult education centres. This work has been done in consultation with the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.

The reopening of schools and adult education centres, schedules and class sizes have been planned by each school and centre taking into consideration their local realities, building, number of students and directives from the:

  • Nunavik and Quebec public health authorities;
  • Quebec Ministry of Education (MEES);
  • Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

As of August 24, 2020, Nunavik is COVID-19 free. However, the situation and applicable public health guidelines may evolve rapidly.

In this context, the following health measures will apply in the youth and adult education sectors, for staff, students and visitors.

Facemasks: Who needs to wear them?

Students

Kindergarten through Grade 4 are not required to wear facemasks:

  • No social distancing
  • Staff working with them wear protective equipment

Grade 5 and up are required to wear a facemask:

  • When moving throughout the school
  • While riding the school bus
  • Not when seated in the classroom

Students in the adult sector must wear a facemask:

  • When moving throughout the centre or student residences
  • While riding the school bus
  • Not when seated in the classroom if at least 1.5 meters from another student

Staff

Staff must to wear a facemask:

  • When moving throughout the school, centre or student residences
  • When at a distance of less than 2 meters from students
  • When driving or riding the school bus

Visitors

Visitors are required to wear a facemask:

  • When inside the schools, adult education centres and student residences
  • May remove off their mask if seated at a distance of 1.5 meters from another person (for example, during a special event held at school: concert, show, presentation, etc.)

Social distancing: What applies?

Youth sector

  • Student-student in the same classroom = 0 metres
  • Student-student from different classroom = 1 metre
  • Student-staff = 2 metres
  • Staff-staff = 2 metres

Adult sector

  • Student-student = 1.5 metres
  • Student-staff = 2 metres
  • Staff-staff = 2 metres

Dates for the start of the school year in Nunavik

The reopening of schools and adult education centres, schedules and size of classes has been planned by each school and centre taking into consideration their local realities, building, number of students and directives from the:

  • Nunavik authorities
  • Quebec Ministry of Education (MEES)
  • Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

In this context, the start of the school year in the youth sector will follow this calendar:

  • Schools will open gradually to students starting on August 31 until September 14.
  • The grade levels reopening first will vary from school to school, depending on how each school planned the arrival of its teachers.
  • Parents have to listen to the local FM radio and check their school’s Facebook page for information on which grade starts when and what type of schedule will apply.
  • By September 14 all grades in the youth sector will have started the school year.
  • Note that due to school renovation currently in progress, the start of the school year will be delayed in the communities of Quaqtaq, Kangiqsujuaq and Salluit (Ikusik School). Interim solutions are currently being developed for students in these communities.

In the adult sector, the start of the school year will follow this calendar:

  • Adult Education Centers and Residences will open gradually to students starting on August 31.
  • Students enrolled in a program offered by their local adult education centre communities will be informed of the exact start date of their courses by August 24.
  • Students enrolled in a program offered by an adult education centre from another community will informed of their courses start date prior to traveling from their home village.

Health and safety measures that apply to Kativik Ilisarniliriniq employees traveling to Nunavik

With the objective of reducing to a maximum the risks of spreading the COVID-19 infection to Nunavik, the school board has planned a gradual start of the school year in the youth and adult sectors that will be spread over 4 weeks.

The reopening of schools and adult education centres entails the movement of an important number of employees. Over the past weeks, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq has planned these operations carefully with the goal of ensuring the protection of Nunavimmiut.

The school board is requiring all employees traveling to Nunavik to quarantine upon arrival in the community where they will be working. Their arrival in Nunavik has been spread out over 4 weeks. The travel dates have been adjusted to accommodate the pre-departure COVID-19 test measures announced by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services on July 17, 2020.

Here is a summary of measures that apply to employees of the school board traveling to Nunavik for work purposes as of July 22, 2020:

  • With the objective of reducing to a maximum the risks of spreading the COVID-19 infection to Nunavik, the school board has planned a start of the school year in the youth and adult sectors that will be spread out over 4 weeks.
  • Each week during the month of August, a small group of employees will arrive in Nunavik communities.
  • There will be 4 groups in total, arriving between August 1 and August 29, 2020.
  • On a weekly basis during August, there will be an average of 8 individuals (employees, spouse and relatives) at a time arriving in each of the 14 Nunavik communities. In the three larger Nunavik communities some of these group may reach up to 25 individuals.
  • In order to be authorized by the school board to travel, and until further notice, all employees of the school board are requested to comply with the public health measures detailed below.

Pre-departure COVID-19 test and negative test result

  • The school board is organizing pre-departure testing for all its employees and their dependants (spouse and children).
  • After being tested for COVID-19, employees will be lodged by the school board at facilities where they will quarantine until they receive their test result.
  • Employees must have tested negative for COVID-19 in order to be authorized to board the plane. The COVID-19 test must be conducted 96-hours or less prior to departure.

Travel to Nunavik

  • Wearing a facemask at all time during travel to Nunavik is mandatory, including for example in taxi, car, truck or bus, at the airport(s), on the plane and during transit to the assigned Nunavik residence.

Arrival in Nunavik communities

  • Safety measures will be in place to avoid unprotected contacts with members of the community upon arrival and transit to staff residences.

14-day quarantine

  • A 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Nunavik is mandatory for all employees of the school board. At the moment, the school board does not endorse the option of pre-departure quarantine for any of its employees, nor does it endorse a quarantine period split between Nunavik and locations outside Nunavik.
  • During quarantine, employees must stay home at all time.
  • During quarantine employees are only allowed to go outdoors to take health walks. During these walks, they can only be accompanied by family members that are quarantined with them. Contacts with members of the community are forbidden at all time. The school board strongly suggests that you wear a facemask during your health walks, so as to send a clear message to local residents. Social distancing is mandatory at all time during health walks (2 meters).

After quarantine while living in the community

  • Employees must wear a facemask in all indoor public places. Since July 18, 2020, wearing a facemask in all indoor public spaces is mandatory in Quebec. This applies in Nunavik.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is being done to reduce the risk of contamination on surfaces?

  • Frequently touched classroom surfaces and equipment shared between students will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Youth sector schools and adult education centres will be closed if the minimum health and safety standards cannot be met.

What is the goal of the health measures that apply to schools and adult education centres?

  • To protect Nunavimmiut from COVID-19 infection.
  • To ensure 100% student attendance starting gradually from August 31 until September 14, 2020 in the youth sector, and as of August 31 in the adult sector.
  • To ensure 100% of course offering in the youth and adult sectors.
  • To reduce overcrowding (arrival at school, recess, indoor movement, etc.).
  • To reduce contact between students that are not in the same classroom.
  • To reinforce good hygiene practices (wash your hands frequently, cough in your elbow, use a tissue when you sneeze, dispose of it safely and wash your hands afterwards).

What happens if a student develops symptoms of COVID-19?

Our schools and adult education centres will follow a strict health and safety protocol that has been developed based on guidelines issued by Nunavik health authorities, the Quebec Ministry of Education (MEES) and the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

This protocol foresees:

  • Isolation in a room intended for this purpose, protective gear for staff interacting with the child that is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The child is picked-up by the parents or is escorted home or to the clinic by staff, and the room is disinfected.
  • If the student or the employee tests positive for COVID-19, the school board will work closely with the Nunavik health authorities to determine the appropriate course of action.
  • Similar steps will apply if a staff is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

If you need more information, please check the NRHBSS website. If you think you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone infected by COVID-19, call 1-888-662-7482 (Monday to Friday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm).

About COVID-19

COVID-19 causes respiratory infections with symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. Kativik Ilisarniliriniq takes the situation linked to this disease very seriously. Government authorities, including the Direction de santé publique and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services are providing the school board with all the advice and directives to deal with this virus.

Infection prevention reminder

Every individual has their part to play to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

The health recommendations below are provided by the Quebec government.

Get provincial public health updates here.

Get Nunavik public health updates here.

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