Coronavirus: Quebec elementary schools, daycares to reopen gradually beginning in May

The Quebec government is expected to unveil its highly anticipated plan to gradually reopen schools on Monday afternoon after they were shuttered to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Premier François Legault suggested last week that the progressive restart will begin with schools in regions less impacted by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

When it comes to attendance, however, Legault has said that students will not be obligated to return to finish the end of the academic year. Parents may keep their children at home if they want, he added.

READ MORE: Quebec counts 69 more deaths, cases climb above 24,100

The plan comes as the province looks to ease up on some of its sweeping measures aimed at curbing the spread of the respiratory illness at the centre of the pandemic.

Daycares, schools and post-secondary institutions were closed by the government on March 16 as cases started to climb. The partial lockdown has also forced non-essential services and businesses to close.

Quebec will be one of the latest provinces to reveal details on easing restrictions related to COVID-19. Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick released progressive timelines last week.

READ MORE: Too early to discuss ‘immunity passports’ for COVID-19 recoveries, Trudeau says

Quebec, which accounts for roughly half of Canada’s confirmed infections, has 24,107 cases as of Sunday. Montreal remains the most affected region, with more than 11,600 cases.

The disease has killed more than 1,500 people in the province to date. The majority of deaths have originated in long-term care homes, according to the government.

There are 819 people in hospital, and 215 of them are in intensive care.

2:24Coronavirus outbreak: Montreal’s English School Board Association worries about government’s push for herd immunity

Coronavirus outbreak: Montreal’s English School Board Association worries about government’s push for herd immunity

— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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