Montreal

COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Thursday

Quebec’s courts and other tribunals will reopen on June 1, but virtual trials will also become more common in the coming months, said Justice Minister Sonia Lebel at the government’s daily news conference Thursday.

Courts will reopen on June 1, but virtual trials will also become more common, says justice minister

A report by the Canadian military describes how equipment and staffing were inadequate when they arrived in Quebec's long-term care homes, but have since improved. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

The latest:

  • Quebec has 49,702 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 4,302 people have died, an increase of 563 cases and 74 deaths since Wednesday.
  • There are 1,331 people in hospital (a decrease of 47), including 178 in intensive care (a decrease of six). Here's a guide to the numbers
  • Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced a plan to hire 550 immigrants to work as orderlies in the province's long-term care homes. 
  • Marinas, accommodations like Airbnb rentals and campgrounds can reopen as of Monday, except in the Montreal and Joliette areas.

Quebec's courts and other tribunals will reopen on June 1, but virtual trials will also become more common in the coming months, said Justice Minister Sonia Lebel at the government's daily news conference Thursday. 

Courthouses will be regularly disinfected and physical-distancing measures will be in place, said Lebel.

She spoke alongside Premier François Legault, who urged Quebecers to continue to respect public health directives to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, even while various sectors reopen.

Quebec to recruit orderlies abroad

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who drastically cut immigration levels during the CAQ government's first year in power, has announced a plan to recruit new immigrants to work as orderlies in the province's long-term care homes.

"The needs are immediate, especially in CHSLDs," Jolin-Barrette said at a news conference Thursday. 

The pilot project to bring in 550 orderlies is part of a series of reforms to the Quebec Experience Program, known as the PEQ.

Since 2013, it has only recruited 115 orderlies to the province through the program.

Campgrounds to reopen everywhere except Montreal, Joliette

Families in the province will soon be able to go camping again, with campgrounds reopening everywhere except the Montreal and Joliette areas June 1.

Overnight stays will be permitted in provincial parks, and hunting and fishing camps are also allowed to open. 

Travel between regions of the province is still discouraged but is not prohibited and rentals are limited to single households whose members have been quarantined together. 

Measures for those who are moving

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is asking residents who are moving this summer to keep public health guidelines in mind when they do so. 

Local police have been asked to refrain from issuing fines to groups assisting with moves, but they will be out educating people on the importance of staying two metres apart and of covering their face whenever that's not possible.

With many families feeling the financial effects of COVID-19, and the city going through a housing crisis even before the pandemic, Plante also announced the city will be using hotel space already acquired for the crisis to house anyone who hasn't found a home by moving day. 

Premier reacts to military report on CHSLDs

On Wednesday, Premier François Legault said there were no surprises in a report by the Canadian military, detailing the challenges Quebec's long-term care facilities are facing.

The report says the division between "hot" and "cold" zones, proper use of protective equipment and staffing shortages are still major issues in the facilities. 

Patients at long-term care homes account for more than 60 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the province.

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