Quebec government thrashed on COVID response

Elementary schools in Montreal to remain closed until September

However, Legault said that would only be the case if public health conditions allow it.

But the Montreal accounts for more than 20,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,000 of the province's reported deaths. "I strongly recommend that we do so", Legault said.

Quebec has already begun opening up areas outside greater Montreal that have been less affected by COVID-19, but Liberal health critic Andre Fortin questioned the speed of the province's plan when compared to such places as Ontario and New York State, which he said have presented clear benchmarks.

Masse said in terms of professional sports, the province sets the criteria that need to be respected to protect athletes and fans.

"We'll still give ourselves a few days to take a decision regarding the retail businesses", Legault said.

"Educators and directors of CPEs are not immune to the general sentiment that is prevalent in Montreal, that is, one of worry and sometimes fear", said the association's director of governmental affairs, Marie-Claude Lemieux.

"I am not happy and I told the people concerned", Legault told reporters in Quebec City.

"When we look at the situation as a whole, it remains pretty fragile in Montreal", Legault said, explaining that with the amount of the school year that remains, the decision has been made to keep schools in the Greater Montreal region closed until the end of August or beginning of September.

There are three times more seniors in long-term care homes in Quebec, per capita, "than anywhere else in the world", Legault said.

Quebec has 40,724 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, an increase of 793 over the previous day.

Anglade noted 3,113 people have died in Quebec, the equivalent of a small municipality being wiped off the map. The number of people in intensive care also came down over the same period, to 190 people, a reduction of four.

Ms. Plante said the school cancellation was probably necessary and she said the city will look for ways to help parents and students deal with stress.

As of its last update, Quebec has performed 267,311 negative tests for COVID-19 to go along with its positive diagnoses.

Legault said he is travelling to Montreal on Thursday to meet Mayor Valerie Plante, and with the heads of local health care organizations. There are now 10,829 cases of people who were known to have infections who have recovered, 656 of whom are in the Estrie Region.



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