• A plan to gradually reopen Quebec schools is coming next week but Premier Legault has already promised that parents "won't be forced to send their children" before the summer break.
  • A plan to gradually reopen businesses is also on the way.

At his daily COVID-19 press update, Premier François Legault announced that the government will soon release plans to reopen Quebec schools but that parents won't have to send their kids back if they don't want to. "The remaining weeks of school until this summer won't be obligatory, so it means that parents won't be forced to send their children in open schools," he said. The region-by-region reopening plan will only move forward with public health as a top priority.

"Outside the senior's centres, the distancing measures are working," said Legault. "The next few days will show if we're really on the right side of the curve." 

Should the government see a marked improvement in the rates of transmission in the province, they will outline their gradual deconfinement plan. 

The announcement about school attendance comes one day after Legault called waiting until fall to reopen schools "a bad idea."

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

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

For health officials, it's paramount that the process happens as securely as possible so that another outbreak of COVID-19 doesn't happen. 

The government will also announce plans to gradually reopen Quebec's economy next week. Legault reassured business owners that they will have ample time to prepare.

Also on Wednesday, Legault called the situation outside Montreal and Laval "stable."

"When we look, for example, at deaths, since the beginning, 74% of deaths have been either on the Island of Montreal or in Laval," he explained.

"This means that, when we look at all the other regions of Quebec, the situation is fairly stable per capita."

The focus of the government is now on senior residences, where a shortage of staff has exacerbated the outbreak.

The Government of Quebec has officially requested the presence of the Canadian Army in CHSLDs to care for residents.

Stay tuned for more news.

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