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

Gyms, arenas and indoor pools, as well as places of worship, have been added to the list of places reopening across the province. Parking lots at parks, including Mount Royal, are also going to open again.

Places of worship, indoor sports venues, gyms to reopen next week

Director general Lynne McVey hands a plaque to a soldier during a ceremony marking the last day of military presence at the CHSLD Nazaire-Piche in Montreal on Wednesday. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec has 54,383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,340 people have died, an increase of 120 new cases and 11 deaths from a day earlier. Thirty-one deaths that occurred before June 9 have also been added to the total.
  • There are 637 people in hospital, including 65 in intensive care. Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • Quebec is relaxing physical distancing rules at daycares, starting Monday.
  • Gyms, arenas and indoor pools can reopen across the province June 22, but with some conditions. 
  • Places of worship have been given the green light to reopen June 22. 
  • Quebec elementary and high school students will be heading back to school in the fall.
  • The Quebec coroner's office has ordered a public inquiry into COVID-19 deaths in long-term care homes. 
  • Parking lots in Montreal's parks will gradually reopen starting today, including those of Mount Royal and Maisonneuve parks. 

 

Quebec relaxes physical distancing rules at daycares

Quebec public health is getting rid of physical distancing rules at daycares between children in the same group, starting Monday.

The groups can be a maximum of 10 children. Their teacher also won't have to stay two metres away, but other adults who work at the same daycare must keep their distance, and personal protective equipment, like masks and visors, must always be worn. 

Basic sanitary rules, such as frequent hand-washing, disinfecting, and coughing into the elbow will have to be observed. 

Gyms, arenas, indoor pools to reopen with conditions

Quebecers will soon be allowed to use indoor sports and recreation facilities, including gyms, pools and arenas. 

But they will be required to comply with physical-distancing and hygiene guidelines, said Isabelle Charest, the minister responsible for sports, making the announcement Wednesday.

That means a sport like hockey will look quite different, perhaps limited to practices or special competitions, to ensure players stay apart. Only limited, incidental contact will be allowed, she said. 

 Advocates want changes to protocol for withholding critical care

Prof. Marie-Eve Bouthillier was asked to come up with a triage protocol to help doctors prioritize which patients would get access to intensive-care beds and ventilators if Quebec's hospitals found themselves overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

Health-care officials in Quebec wanted to avoid the heart-breaking, life-or-death decisions many doctors in Italy, and later, New York, were being forced to make when they had to ration care and equipment.

With the help of Bouthillier and more than 40 experts, that protocol was drawn up by March 25. 

But some advocates for people with disabilities say the whole process lacked transparency and the protocol is discriminatory. 

Montreal puts $22M into economic recovery

Three months after Quebec ordered schools and all non-essential businesses closed to stem the spread of COVID-19, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante plans to invest in infrastructure, transportation and local businesses to help rebuild the city's hard-hit economy.

Though it is too early to predict how far-reaching the pandemic's repercussions will be, Plante said at a news conference Thursday, her administration will "review the way we do things and rethink the city."

Plante said the city will inject $22 million into the economy over a six-month period, taking a range of steps aimed at helping companies — especially small businesses — adjust to the new world of physical distancing and plexiglass shields.

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