The Ministry of Education has just made the decision to extend Quebec school closures across the entire province for two weeks starting Monday, March 16, in an attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This closure will affect all elementary and high schools, CÉGEPs, and universities. On Thursday, March 12, several schools, including universities McGill and Concordia, along with the Montreal school board CSDM and the EMSB announced they would be closed on Friday, March 13 in order to discuss and decide how to move forward under new recommendations from the government in response to the coronavirus.

In particular, schools were forced to consider how to operate under the directive from Premier François Legault that there should be no indoor gatherings of 250 people or more.

Now, the Ministry of Education has decided to suspended classes at all levels province-wide in order to avoid any potential community spread within education networks.

Dr. Horacio Arruda says the decision was made in light of the fact that many students were returning from spring vacations.

In Ontario, a similar decision was made this week. It is currently March Break for Ontario schools and the government announced that students would not return to schools for another two weeks.

The Quebec government plans to reopen schools on March 30.

At a press conference this morning, the Quebec premier also announced that there will be childcare for healthcare workers.

He also asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to limit the entrance of foreign visitors to Canada.

Quebec now has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Two of those individuals have been hospitalized.

The government previously banned all indoor public gatherings of 250 people or more.

In response, several events have been cancelled or postponed in Montreal.

The City has closed large public buildings and spaces.

Though the STM will remain open.

More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.

More to come...

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