Quebec schools reopen with emphasis on physical distancing, hygiene

Quebec schools reopen with emphasis on physical distancing, hygiene”

Quebecers should wear a mask when they leave the house to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the province's premier said on Tuesday.

Trudeau said safety should be put before the economy, and said he was "worried" for the people of Montreal, and other Canadians.

Masks, he said, should be worn in tandem with rigorous hand washing and social-distancing measures.

"It's like the first day of school with new rules and we need to show them those new rules and make it so that they're as happy as possible so they can learn" said Melanie Primeau, the Principal at Howick Elementary School, just 44 kilometers southwest of Montreal.

"We are anxious, but I think we'd be more anxious in the fall when it's a bigger change for them, they'd have been off school for six months", Stephen Moore said.

Quebec leads the country with fatalities attributable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as the death toll surpassed 3,000 on Monday. Legault said 113 of the victims lived in the Greater Montreal region. Quebec has 39,225 confirmed cases.

After admitting he was anxious about the virus's progression in Montreal, Legault said he will meet with Mayor Valérie Plante and local public health authorities on Thursday.

Still, a large majority remains satisfied with Legault.

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However, the premier said that Montreal, which has become the epicentre of the virus in Canada, will not be isolated from the rest of the province despite calls to do so.

After admitting he was anxious about Montreal, Quebec's premier is expected to provide an update on the province's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday afternoon. "It's a habit that is a good one that will allow us to come back to a normal life, I recommend to do it".

The Montreal region is the hardest hit, with the city's public health director Dr. Mylene Drouin announcing it has seen almost 20,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,000 deaths - 85 per of which were in long-term care homes and seniors' residences. Numerous province's deaths have been connected to those facilities.

The pandemic has been devastating in Quebec's long-term care homes, many of which have faced outbreaks and a lack of staffing.

McCann, for her part, said that she is working to ensure more health-care workers on the front lines get tested.

"Our focus right now is on recognizing that we are not in the recovery phase yet".

"Randomly, we're going to test people who are asymptomatic, and people, of course, who are asymptomatic workers and residents in long-term facilities", she said.

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