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

Premier François Legault said the metropolitan Montreal region has not seen the reduction in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 needed to allow schools and daycares to be reopened safely. 

The school year is done for children in the Montreal area, Quebec Premier François Legault has announced

A woman wearing a mask waits at a mobile testing clinic in Montréal-Nord, the hardest-hit borough in the city. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The latest:

  • Quebec has 40,724 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,351 people have died.
  • There are 1,834 people in hospital (an decrease of 42) and 190 people in intensive care (an decrease of four). Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • Schools in the Montreal area will not reopen until September; daycares won't open until June 1.
  • Starting May 20, individual, non-contact sports can resume across the province.
  • Travel restrictions to Quebec's North Shore have been extended to May 31.

Quebec Premier François Legault has announced that schools in the Montreal area will not reopen until September.

In addition, daycares in the region will not be open before June 1, except for the children of essential workers. 

Legault said the metropolitan Montreal region has not seen the reduction in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 needed to allow schools and daycares to be reopened safely. It's still unclear whether retail businesses will reopen May 25, as planned.

Contact tracing tool criticized

Widespread contact tracing is one key to reopening safely, according to experts, but the province still has work to do.

The foremost technology the province relies on for contact tracing has so far been a fax machine. It recently purchased a new system by Quebec company Akinox, set to arrive later this week. 

But while jurisdictions like Alberta are adopting app-based contact-tracing tools, which use Bluetooth or GPS to determine with whom a person has spent time, the model Quebec has commissioned is based on an email chain letter type system.

How to wear a mask properly

Mask on, please, says the Quebec government.

Here's a breakdown on how to wear a mask or face covering properly. 

Quebec Premier François Legault didn't exactly set a great example when he removed his mask from his face earlier this week. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Other info you should know

A small but mighty team of women are answering new and desperate needs in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The early child educators are combining their expertise with a food delivery service, going door to door to families in need.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly finally began sitting again, giving opposition parties a voice they've lacked in the past two months as Legault's vision on the pandemic has so far been able to operate unchallenged by them.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says Quebecers who own property in his province may eventually be allowed to travel there this summer — depending on public health conditions in the coming weeks.

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