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Legault Says It's 'Not A Good Idea To Wait' For September To Reopen Schools

It could start a second outbreak wave.
Staff Writer
Waiting To Reopen Quebec Schools In September 'Not A Good Idea' Says Legault

At his press briefing on Tuesday, Premier François Legault said that it wouldn't be a "good idea to wait for September" to reopen Quebec schools. Concerned about a potential second wave of COVID-19, the Premier noted that a "gradual reopening" would be necessary. A definite reopening date, however, wasn't established. 

"It would not be a good idea to wait until September 1 to return 1 million children to schools at the same time," highlighted the Premier. 

"The risk [is that] there would be a contagion among the parents since there would be a lot of people at the same time creating a second wave of COVID-19."

On Monday, public health officials were not prepared to say if schools would be reopening in two weeks in time for the previously scheduled May 4 date.

However, the government said that there is "no question of reopening schools in the short term." 

"What we are currently looking at is a gradual reopening," said Legault Tuesday. "So the next few weeks, the next few months, to gradually reopen the economy, daycare centers, and schools." 

His explanation comes one day after the English Montreal School Board's Parents Committee requested that the government postpone school openings to September "at the earliest."

Public health officials are preparing for a deconfinement plan, but nothing is definite yet.

The ongoing health crisis has put a strain on all aspects of life, especially the economy.

Though deconfinement is something everyone is looking forward to, Legault suggested that his first concern is public safety.

"I want us to protect our children, I want us to protect our educators, our teachers. I want everyone to be safe," said Legault. 

READ ALSO: Quebec's COVID-19 Case Count Has Now Passed 20k With Over 1,000 Deaths

When asked if he would consider reopening the schools later in May or during the summer, Legault didn't rule anything out. 

However, he was sure to underline that nothing has been decided yet.

"We want to ensure for a certain number of days that the situation remains stable. So, to be clear, I still haven't quite got the OK from Dr. Arruda," said the Premier.

Students and teachers at all levels, meanwhile, have had to contend with the sudden challenge of remote learning, complicated by unequal access to online resources.

As a result and for the "sake of fairness," Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced Monday that cégep students won't need to worry about their R-Scores this semester. 

Stay tuned for more news.

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