EMSB, LBPSB asks students, staff who have visited countries hit by COVID-19 to stay home, call 811

The English Montreal School Board (EMSB)​ and the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) are asking families to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus as students and staff head back to class.

The EMSB issued a statement over the weekend with directives, specifically urging children and staff who have visited countries hard hit by COVID-19 to stay at home.

Students who have visited China, Iran, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Japan or Singapore in the past 14 days should stay home even if they don’t have any flu symptoms, the school board said. Parents are also asked to call Info-Santé to seek further medical advice before heading to a hospital or clinic.


Info-Santé will provide the necessary instructions with regards if quarantine applies to you,” the revised note as of Monday afternoon reads.

While the EMSB is urging calm, the school board also advises parents to talk to children about the flu and general prevention measures. This includes regular and efficient handwashing.

The statement also addresses the fact that a trip to northern Italy for Westmount High School was cancelled. The school trip for Laurier Macdonald High School was also changed shortly before departure to avoid touring cities in the affected area.

The EMSB said that while the decisions made may have been disappointing, they were the right call in the face of COVID-19. The school board is also monitoring the situation since several high schools have trips planned for April.

As for the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB), it released a statement on Monday saying it was actively monitoring the situation and is working with the Ministry of Education, Santé Québec and and Public Health Canada to follow all proper protocols.

“The school board continues proactive measures to protect student and staff well-being,” the statement reads.

The school board said one of its proactive measures is enhanced cleaning practices.

LBPSB also added that families who have travelled to regions affected by the virus in the last 14 days should limit their contact with others and stay home.

The EMSB and LBPSB letters come as a fourth case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Quebec.

The woman in question began experiencing symptoms after returning to the Montérégie region from a cruise that included a stop in Mexico. Health authorities say she is resting at home in isolation.

In Canada, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 60, mostly in Ontario and British Columbia. 

Several other cases considered to be presumptive are awaiting confirmation by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg before they are added to the official list.

With files from Global News’ Brittany Henriques and the Canadian Press

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