It may not come as a surprise to some people, but at a press briefing today, Premier Francois Legault announced yet another postponement of the reopening of schools, daycares and businesses in the Montreal area. The return of teachers and children in elementary schools and daycare centers, that have caused much controversy from the start, were scheduled to reopen next Monday May 11th. However, the date has now been pushed back a week to May 19th. Non-essential businesses, first scheduled to reopen on May 11th as well, had already been postponed to May 18th – and have been pushed back again by another week to May 25th. Premier Legault and Quebec’s national director of public health Horacio Arruda said they decided to postpone the reopenings because the COVID-19 situation in the greater Montreal area is not ideal for doing so according to the previously announced schedule. Arruda said that the ‘situation in Montreal remains fragile’ and added that ‘in the rest of Quebec, it’s paradise… that’s exactly what it is. It’s two completely different worlds’.
The Premier stated that there are two conditions that need to be met, that the spread of COVID-19 is under control and there are enough hospital beds available in case a major outbreak happens. “If there was a large outbreak tomorrow in Montreal, we wouldn’t have the personnel to handle the increase… that’s the challenge, we need to increase the number of employees in Montreal.” He further explained that there are 1,000 available hospital beds in Montreal (right now), but the issue is there isn’t enough personnel to manage the beds… the health network in Quebec is still short 11,600 employees and 50 per cent of those who are working are part-time employees. “Today we’re seeing that the conditions to keep our initial reopening calendar in Montreal are not met for the moment. It will happen only if the conditions are met before May 25th,” Legault said.
By: Bonnie Wurst – email@example.com