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Quebec Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic on April 27, 2020, at the legislature in Quebec City.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec authorities say masks that have been distributed to daycares across the province since May don’t meet provincial safety standards.

The Families Department issued a notice Tuesday calling on daycares to stop using the MC9501 masks because they don’t meet one of three requirements established by the Robert-Sauve research institute.

Robert-Sauve is a private, non-profit organization that looks at issues of occupational health and safety and is funded by Quebec’s workplace safety board.

The institute says the masks have a filtration problem and don’t work 100 per cent of the time.

Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe says his department had already ordered new masks for daycares because stocks of the problematic masks had been used up.

He says the new masks meet the Robert-Sauve standards.

“We were working with the stock that we had since the start of the pandemic, it was known that this stock was reaching the end, so we had to order new ones,” Lacombe said today.

Lacombe says despite the problems with certain masks, the situation in daycares has been “exceptional,” with 951 cases of COVID-19 reported in the system since March.

“When we look at the results, we see that the protective measures are effective even if in this case we are told … that a more efficient mask should be used,” he said.

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