Quebec is moving ahead with its recovery plan amid the novel coronavirus pandemic as daycares reopen in Montreal and other sectors resume their activities across the province on Monday.
Daycares are operating at a reduced capacity to contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. There are also new measures in place to enforce physical distancing as much as possible and educators will wear personal protective equipment so they can safely interact with young children.
At Orchard House in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood, staff members were donning masks as they greeted children and parents outdoors. The first day back only brought about 10 per cent of children to the private daycare.
“It has been a lot of preparation,” said Imad Khalil, director of operations and development at the daycare. “A lot of learning on how we are going to manage this new phase in our school.”
Despite bolstered safety measures, some parents admitted they are worried about sending their children back as Montreal remains the epicentre of the virus’s outbreak in Canada.
“It was a little nerve racking because you never know,” said Ines Hasanbansic.
The limited reopening of daycares in Montreal comes after the province gave the green light to elementary schools and daycares in other parts of Quebec to open last month. Attendance is not mandatory and parents may keep their children home.
Aside from child care, the province’s courthouses and other tribunals are also gradually reopening on Monday after they were forced to close in March.
Elsewhere in Quebec, esthetic services, spas and hairdressers are permitted to operate. The Greater Montreal area will follow suit on June 15.
Quebec remains the province hardest hit by COVID-19. There are more than 51,000 cases to date after 408 new infections were reported on Sunday.
The death toll stands at 4,641. The province recorded 202 more fatalities on Sunday.
— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines and the Canadian PressView link »