In Canada’s Quebec province, de-confinement takes baby steps with schools re-opening

Reported By: Sebastien Malo, Reuters

MONTREAL (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Quebec, where a majority of cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have been tallied countrywide, re-opened some of its schools on Monday, as some parents and teachers expressed uncertainty over the move’s safety.

Elementary schools and kindergartens gradually re-opened outside of Montreal, Quebec’s largest city, with strict instructions from authorities to maintain social distancing intended to alleviate worries among teachers about risks to their health.

In a press conference, Quebec Premier Francois Legault emphasized the spread of the virus in regions where schools had re-opened on Monday was slower than that of Montreal, where elementary schools are slated to re-open in two weeks. School re-opening in Montreal could be postponed depending on progress made, Legault said.

“We have to go gradually,” he added. “Schools are important, they are an essential service for children.”

Quebec makes up 24% of the Canadian population, but it accounts for nearly 55% of COVID-19 cases and nearly 60% of the deaths. Canada has so far reported 69,156 cases of COVID-19, and 4,906 deaths.

Most Quebec cases have occurred in seniors’ residences and among the elderly, with denser Montreal, where schools were not re-opening on Monday, also a hotspot for the spread of the coronavirus.

Parents who wish to send their children back to school can do so, but the policy is voluntary.

At Ecole St-Gerard in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a suburb on the south shore of Montreal, principal Solange Lemoy said a first group of 50 of the total 280 registered students entered the building in the morning, with staff at the doors wearing visors and using hand sanitizer. About half of parents have told her they will not send their children back to this school immediately.

Maude Racicot, a 37-year-old mother of three whose children attend a nearby elementary school, also located in a Montreal south shore suburb, said she had opted against sending them back to school due to fears of the virus.

“It’s a bit like sending everyone to the slaughterhouse,” said the mother, herself an elementary school teacher. “We don’t know enough about the virus.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his daily media briefing in Ottawa warned that efforts to curb the coronavirus “could all go up in smoke if we move too quickly on re-opening.”

Decision-makers who order re-openings would “be held to account” if those choices resulted in a new wave of infections and the need for a new lockdown, he said.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo; Additional reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Aurora Ellis)

Featured Image Caption and Credits: A student has her hands sanitized in the schoolyard, as schools outside the greater Montreal region begin to reopen their doors amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

This content is also available in: English


Bài Liên Quan

Cách kết hợp màu son môi phù hợp với màu da.

Đỏ, hồng, nude hay nhung – đây đều là những màu son phổ biến. Tùy thuộc vào từng sự kiện, chúng ta...

Đông Nhi Chia Sẻ Triết Lý Thành Công Của Mình

Không chỉ nổi danh ở lĩnh vực âm nhạc, với tư cách ca sĩ, cái tên Đông Nhi đang ngày càng...

Cafes and bars reopen in parts of Australia after coronavirus lockdown

Reported By: Reuters/Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Restaurants, cafes and bars in Australia's most populous state were reopening on...

The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

Reported by: The Canadian Press The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern): 4:10 p.m.

Canada cấm người có triệu chứng COVID-19 lên các chuyến bay nội địa, tàu liên tỉnh: Thủ tướng Trudeau

Bất cứ ai có các triệu chứng liên quan đến COVID-19 sẽ bị từ chối cho lên các chuyến bay nội địa...

Thủ Tướng Justin Trudeau trao đổi về chương trình Canada Emergency Business Account và The Emergencies Act trong phát biểu cập nhật về COVID-19...

Vào buổi phát biểu tại dinh Rideau Cottage, nơi mà thủ tướng Canada Justin Trudeau đang làm việc tại nhà và thực...

Cuốn Kiểu Việt

Marion Grasby là một đầu bếp người Úc gốc Thái và là người sáng lập Công ty Thực phẩm Marion’s Kitchen. Marion...

This content is also available in: English