Skip to content
Back to school: all CO2 sensors are installed in Quebec, Jean-François Roberge says

Jean-François Roberge says everything is ready for the start of the school year

With the start of the 2022 school year just days away, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge says all CO2 sensors have been installed in classrooms across the province. Schools are therefore ready to check CO2 levels to ensure the safety and well-being of students.

The demand for these sensors dates back to the beginning of the pandemic, and after more than two years, installation in all schools is finally complete. The CO2 sensors will be used as part of a school air quality management strategy. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms and common areas, the sensors measure various parameters such as temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in the room. The provincial target has been set at 1000 ppm (parts per million), with a tolerance of up to 1500 ppm.

However, this target does not meet with unanimous approval, especially in the scientific community.

Indeed, as reported by Radio-Canada, Stéphane Bilodeau, a lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering at McGill University, explains that “when weaccept 1500 ppm, it means that we are very tolerant of the risk of infection. If we are in what many experts talk about as a suitable limit, we are more in the order of 800 parts per million. Some even mention 700.

The Minister of Education’s department prioritized solution to managing CO2 levels in classrooms is still natural ventilation – opening windows, even in the dead of winter. While some schools across the province have benefited from work such as window changes or the installation of mechanical ventilation, not all school buildings have been renovated. This is of course a concern to many parents who would like to see more action taken to ensure air quality in schools.

Considering that the start of the 2022 school year will be without measures such as masking, distancing or reducing class sizes, and that an eighth wave seems to be looming over the province, parents’ concerns are quite understandable.

Nevertheless, Roberge says he is pleased with the work that has been done. He also says that improving the school system remains a priority for the CAQ.

More Content