HALIFAX: The province unveiled its re-opening plan and announced that schools will remain closed until September.
On May 8, Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, provided an update on COVID-19, announcing that the school year for students will end June 5 and licensed daycares will remain closed until at least June 5. They also outlined how government will determine the best way to reopen Nova Scotia.
Teachers will continue to work until the end of June to complete assessments and other tasks.
“I want to thank students, teachers, education workers and families for their hard work and commitment to learning during these unprecedented times,” said education minister Zach Churchill. “Nova Scotians across the education sector have worked together to learn in new and different ways, and this experience will continue to provide lasting benefits to our students in the months and years to come. For our Grade 12 students, I want you to know that we will celebrate your graduation at a time when it is safe to do so.”
The goal is for daycares to reopen by June 8 but the timeline for them to resume operating will be determined in consultation with the sector. Those consultations are underway and will help inform Nova Scotia’s reopening plan.
Nova Scotia’s reopening plan is under development. It will be based on advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommendations and guidelines to lift public health measures, status of COVID-19 in the province, consultation with sectors, and the ability for people and businesses to continue to follow public health measures.
“We must take a slow and methodical approach if we are to safely bring Nova Scotia back to normal,” said Dr. Strang. “No decisions have been made. We are working on a reopening plan that balances public safety with the need to increase economic and social activity. The first phase is still some weeks away.”
Reopening will be done in phases, over time. Each phase could last a minimum of 28 days. Readiness to reopen – and to move onto the next phase – will be assessed weekly.