COVID-19: experts suggest the mask for the whole class when there is a positive case

COVID-19: Experts suggest mask for whole class when there is has a positive case


With the end of the mandatory isolation period, having a whole group of students wear masks when there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the class could be a good way curb the spread of the virus, say experts.

A student who contracts COVID-19 can now continue to go to school even if they have a runny nose, cough or sore throat. However, he must wear the mask for 10 days, just like the other members of his family. 

To reduce the risk of contagion, all the students in his group could also wear the mask during this period, as is currently the case in at least one school in Quebec. 

It would not be surprising if other schools also decided to do the same thing, we say to the Quebec Federation of Directors of Educational Institutions. 

“It's surely a good idea,” says Alain Lamarre, immunology specialist at INRS. 

The latter does not believe, however, that it would be “realistic” for Quebec to require the entire school network to wear a mask for a group of students when there is a case in the class. “I don't think it would pass in the population”, he drops. 

It is especially the younger children, of preschool age, who are the most affected by the viruses currently, underlines Mr. Lamarre.  

When a student positive for COVID-19 is in class, wearing a mask could be particularly appropriate for classmates who have a little brother or a little sister at home, he points out. Parents can always ask their child to wear it to class, even if it is no longer mandatory, he reminds. 

For his part, Maximilien Debia, professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal, is not surprised that certain schools are taking the lead, “perhaps in response to certain questions or fears from members staff”, which is “completely justified”, according to him. 

“We know that the mask is a good idea, it works to cut the transmission”, recalls Mr. Debia. 

The measure is all the more relevant in the context where the improvement of ventilation in the classroom will once again be based this winter on opening the windows, according to the C02 levels observed. in class. 

However, “complementary strategies”, such as the installation of air purifiers, could have made it possible to further reduce the risks of transmission of the virus, underlines this expert in the quality of air.

Got a scoop for us?

Do you have something to tell us about this story?

Do you have a scoop that our readers might be interested in?

Email us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.