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

The stories we're following today include: plans to reopen stores and daycares in Montreal, how restaurants are trying to survive and the increasing demand for midwives.

Legault announced that retail stores in Montreal will reopen next week

People walk and cycle along the promenade on a sunny day in the Old Port of Montreal, Sunday, May 17, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • Quebec has Quebec has 43,627 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,596 people have died. That is an increase of 707 cases and 34 deaths from a day earlier.
  • There are 1,771 people in hospital (an increase of five), including 179 in intensive care (a decrease of four). Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • Retail stores in the Montreal area will be allowed to reopen on May 25.
  • Daycares in the greater Montreal area will reopen on June 1, though spaces will be limited. 
  • More police checkpoints are being removed today, but the government asks Quebecers to only move between regions for essential purposes.
  • You can find out where Montreal's mobile testing sites are here.

Retail stores in the Montreal area will reopen on May 25 and daycares around the city will open one week later, on June 1, Quebec Premier François Legault said today.

Legault said the decision was taken after receiving encouraging numbers about the COVID-19 situation in Montreal. The 34 new deaths announced Monday is the lowest that figure has been in more than a month.

Though the daycares are set to reopen, Legault warned the number of spots will be limited, so some parents won't have access right away.

Despite the easing of confinement measures, Legault urged Quebecers to continue respecting physical distancing guidelines and to wear a mask in public.

"I also want to ask Quebecers to continue to be very careful," he said. "We need to follow public health instructions if we don't want to go back and have to put the brakes on the reopening."

An end to checkpoints

Travel restrictions are being lifted today in parts of Quebec.

While gatherings are still banned, police checkpoints in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions, as well as in Charlevoix and Charlevoix-Est MRCs, have been removed.

Travel between Gatineau and Ottawa is also now allowed.

Restaurants get creative

Dining rooms in Montreal have been closed since mid-March, forcing owners and staff to adapt to a business that has become reduced to just take-out.

With no set date for the reopening of dining rooms, their survival may depend on it.

The rare few finding success are doing so with mixed feelings.

Quebec's midwives in higher demand

In short supply and high demand even in non-pandemic times, Quebec's midwives are straining to keep up as more women seek non-hospital births to avoid COVID-19 exposure and the health-care system adjusts assignments and responsibilities.

Midwives have seen a surge in demand since the beginning of the pandemic, said Mounia Amine, president of the Regroupement des sages-femmes du Québec, which represents around 250 midwives in the province.

But as requests continue to pour in and wait lists quickly fill up, the province isn't even close to having enough midwives to meet the demand.


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