Saskatchewan government says schools to remain closed until at least September

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says schools will remain closed until at least September.

Schools in Saskatchewan, like those in most other provinces, closed their doors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The province says online learning will continue for students for the rest of the school year.

A planning team is looking at what in-class learning may look like in the fall, although it has not been decided when schools will reopen.

The government also says school divisions are working with graduating students to possibly hold virtual graduation ceremonies.

A provincial public health order prevents more than 10 people from gathering together.

"We know that graduation ceremonies and celebrations are important to so many families, and we extend a warm congratulations to all of Saskatchewan's Grade 12 students and we wish them the very best in their futures," Education Minister Gordon Wyant said in a statement.

On Thursday, the province reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing its total number of cases to 531.

Twelve of the new cases were in the La Loche area in the north, where health officials are monitoring the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the province. The area cannot participate in the province's reopening plan, which is to allow some services and businesses to start opening Monday.

An outbreak of the illness at the hospital in Lloydminster, a city on the Saskatchewan-Alberta boundary, is now considered stable. The government said the city can go ahead with reopening.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2020.

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