Quebec pushes back reopening schools, daycares and stores in Montreal to May 25

Quebec officials will provide an update on Thursday as the province slowly eases restrictions while cases and deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus continue to climb.

The government has changed its tune when it comes to older workers returning to their positions in schools and daycares, which are set to gradually reopen next week.

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Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault said on Wednesday that teachers and educators under the age of 70 face minimal risks — after provincial officials warned people over the age of 60 that they were at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The City of Montreal has also extended its state of emergency to May 11 as the area remains hard hit by the virus.

The measure, which was implemented on March 27, gives local authorities more powers and resources to deal with the pandemic.

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Montreal accounts for about half of Quebec’s more than 34,000 COVID-19 cases. There have been outbreaks in some boroughs and hospitals over the past two weeks, and patients have been transferred to different regions.

In Quebec, the respiratory illness has killed more than 2,500 people to date — including 1,562 in Montreal.

When asked if reopening daycares and elementary schools in the Greater Montreal area will be postponed, the province’s director of public health said on Wednesday the plan remains the same for now but that authorities are constantly looking at the numbers.

5:54Coronavirus outbreak: Over 1600 troops deployed to long-term care homes in Ontario, Quebec

Coronavirus outbreak: Over 1600 troops deployed to long-term care homes in Ontario, Quebec

With files from the Canadian Press

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