Montreal·Updated

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

Quebec's director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has given the go-ahead to bars, casinos, spas and water parks to reopen, effective immediately, with sanitary measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Quebec public health allows bars, casinos, spas, water parks to reopen, with strict sanitary measures

People wear face masks as they visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal on Wednesday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec has 55,079 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,448 people have died, an increase of 142 new cases and seven deaths. The government says one of the newly reported deaths occurred prior to June 17.
  • There are 487 people in hospital, including 50 in intensive care. Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • COVID-19 numbers will be released only weekly from now on. The next update is July 2.
  • Bars, casinos, spas, water parks and similar businesses may now reopen across Quebec, on the condition strict sanitary measures remain in place.
  • How risky is returning to routine in Montreal right now? Here's what an expert has to say.
  • Having trouble keeping track of what has reopened? Consult our list. 

Quebec's director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has given the go-ahead to bars, casinos, spas and water parks to reopen, effective immediately, as long as they strictly adhere to sanitary regulations to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"This reopening is conditional on Quebecers respecting those measures," including continued physical distancing, wearing a mask in confined spaces and frequent hand-washing, said Arruda at a briefing Thursday afternoon.

With that decision, almost all sectors of Quebec's economy have now reopened, with three exceptions: there will be no festivals or other large gatherings this summer, no sleepaway camps, and sports that involve close-contact fighting will not be allowed to resume.

Quebec Health Ministry stops posting daily COVID-19 data

Quebec will stop publishing daily COVID-19 figures as of tomorrow, providing only weekly reports on the number of infections in the province after that.

The first weekly report will be published on the Health Ministry's website July 2. 

Health Ministry spokesperson Marie-Claude Lacasse said the "decision was made due to the evolving epidemiological situation, which is stabilizing." 

As of Wednesday, 54,937 people in Quebec have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That's an increase of 53 new cases since Tuesday.

Home-care workers say their clients aren't getting the level of care they need

Home-care operators say Quebec's attempt to recruit more patient-care attendants to work in chronically short-staffed long-term care institutions has led to an exodus of staff, making it difficult to meet the needs of elderly and vulnerable clients who still live at home.

"Pre-COVID, we used to be able to help 12,000 people on the island of Montreal. In COVID, all of us together, I don't even think we're going to reach 750 by the end of this month," said Judy Bambach, the general manager of Répit-Ressource de l'Est de Montréal.

Judy Bambach, the general manager of Répit-Ressource de l’Est de Montréal, hopes the province will do more to help the home care sector compete with the high salaries being offered in CHSLDs. (Karl Boulanger/CBC)

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