COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Wednesday
A coroner's inquiry, and indoor sports venues reopening, with conditions
- Quebec has 54,263 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,298 people have died, an increase of 117 new cases and nine deaths from a day earlier. Twenty deaths that occurred before June 9 have also been added to the total.
- There are 690 people in hospital, including 72 in intensive care. Here's a guide to the numbers.
- Shopping malls in the greater Montreal and Joliette regions can reopen as of June 19.
- Quebec elementary and high school students will be heading back to school in the fall.
- The Red Cross is looking to recruit and train 1,000 people to work in Quebec's long-term care homes this summer.
Quebec's chief coroner has ordered a wide-ranging public inquiry into deaths that have occurred in the province's long-term care homes, private seniors' residences and other residential institutions for vulnerable people over the first six weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A majority of the province's COVID-19 deaths have occurred in public or private long-term care homes, known by their French initials as CHSLDs.
The coroner's office has already begun investigating one privately run long-term care home that had a high number of COVID-19 deaths — the CHSLD Herron in Dorval, in Montreal's West Island.
Gyms, arenas, indoor pools to reopen in Quebec, with conditions
Quebecers will soon be allowed to once again 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, in 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.
Support for family shattered by COVID-19
As Amoti Furaha Lusi faces a future raising her five, soon-to-be six children in Canada without her late husband by her side, people touched by her story are rallying around her — donating more than $115,000 to help support Furaha Lusi and her growing family.
Furaha Lusi had been happy, building a life in Canada with her husband, Désiré Buna Ivara, who emigrated from Congo to Canada in 2004.
Ivara died last month. He had been finishing his thesis for his doctoral studies in health and society at the Université du Québec à Montréal, helping his children keep up with their schoolwork while Furaha Lusi worked at a West Island CHLSD to help pay the bills.
A Montreal institution will not reopen
Bar-B Barn, the barbecue restaurant that is an institution in downtown Montreal, is closing its doors for good.
Owner Thomas McQueen, who has been working at the restaurant for 40 years, says the closure is "100 per cent" related to COVID-19.
The downtown location closed its doors in March and could have reopened as of June 22. But guidelines created by Quebec's workplace health and safety board require that tables be two metres apart.
In a long and narrow building, McQueen says reopening just wasn't financially viable.