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Deconfinement plan for schools and daycares

Deconfinement plan for schools and daycares
/ Emilie Nadeau

As he does every day, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, reports on the most recent assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province. As of today there have been 84 more deaths bringing the total to 1599 in Quebec. There are 24,982 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 1,541 people are in the hospital, including 210 who are in intensive care.

Legault announces a plan for reopening of schools "if and only if" the situation remains stable:

Elementary schools and daycares outside of Montreal will open May 11th. 
All child care workers will have to wear a mask.

Elementary schools and Daycares in the Montreal region will open May 19th.
All child care workers will have to wear a mask.

High schools, CEGEPs and universities will not reopen until August or September. When the new academic year begins.
François Legault says, he is keeping high schools and colleges and universities closed because It's easier for high school, colleges and university students to take distance courses than for elementary school.

He also said that their will be a limit of children per class room. The number of children will be limited to 15 per class to respect the distancing instruction as far as possible. Unoccupied secondary schools could be used.

Legault says It is important, as I said before, that school will not be compulsory, so parents who prefer to keep their children at home will not be penalized in any way. 

Premier Legault gives us 5 reasons as to why it is good to reopen schools and daycares:

  1. The well being of children who have to go to school, especially those who have learning difficulties.

  2. The risk is limited. The serious consequences for children are limited. Parents who have children with health problems should keep them at home, says Legault.

  3. The situation is under control in hospitals. We have all the capacities and the personnel to take care of the sick. It is important that it be gradual to keep the situation under control.

  4. We have the OK from public health officials.

  5. Life must go on. It is good that the children see their friends again, their teachers. There will be no vaccine before 12, 18 months. "I think life has to go on."

We should not make our decision on the basis of collective immunity because this concept has not been proven. 

Dr. Arruda also said that Mental health issues in the population, compounded by containment measures, were taken into account in the decision to reopen the schools. Despite the deconfinement, the population at risk remains at risk, says Arruda. So, no parties with the elderly, no gatherings. Just becuase we are reopening the schools doesn't mean everyone is allowed to go out and see their loved ones.

Details of the reopening of the school system and daycare centers will be released this afternoon by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, and the Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe.

Legault also thanked all volunteers who answered to his call for help. At least 11,000 volunteers raised their hands over the weekend to lend a hand in the network. 

Tomorrow, the government will announce its plan to reopen businesses. A plan that will be gradual.

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