GATINEAU, QC. -- The Western Quebec School Board says it will be closing most of its schools Wednesday as a heatwave grips the region.

Wednesday has the potential to see temperatures around 33°C in the region, with humidex values around 38. A heat warning from Environment Canada is in effect for Gatineau.

On its Facebook page, the WQSB says it made the decision to close schools in the Outaouais region in light of the forecast and for the safety of the students who have returned to school.

"Due to the extreme heat and the COVID-19 restrictions on using fans, along with obvious related health concerns, Western Québec has decided to close all schools in region 7 (Outaouais) for Wednesday, May 27," the post says.

The WQSB also operates schools in the Pontiac and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions.

Elementary schools in Quebec are still offering classes, though attendance is not mandatory. The WQSB has said only a fraction of its full student body has returned.