Montreal·The Latest

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

Here are some of the stories we're following: Quebec's distancing guidelines have been a source of confusion, child protection waiting lists are going down, and a push for a greener economy is growing.

As retail stores, daycares set to reopen in Montreal area, Arruda says province could close again

With the sun shining brightly on Monday, Montreal's Jean Talon Market was alive with activity. Quebec Premier François Legault is urging people to wear masks when out in public. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • Quebec has 44,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,647 people have died. That is an increase of 570 cases and 51 deaths from a day earlier.
  • There are 1,784 people in hospital (an increase of 13), including 180 in intensive care (an increase of one). 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. 
  • The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel for another 30 days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.
  • You can find out where Montreal's mobile testing sites are here.

The province is no longer on pause, but Quebecers must continue to respect social distancing regulations, said Public Health Director Horacio Arruda at a news conference on the COVID-19 situation Tuesday. 

Retail stores and daycares in the greater Montreal area — the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada — will reopen by June. 

But Arruda said if the situation worsens in the next few weeks, the province will close certain sectors again.

"We are reopening, but we're not slacking on social distancing," Arruda said. 

The province reported 570 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the lowest number since April 11, but Premier François Legault said "it's not time to let our guard down."

Physical distancing proving tough for Montrealers

Montreal had a beautiful long weekend and despite pleas from officials not to flood parks, many without elsewhere to go did just that, soaking up the sun in the city's green spaces. 

The province's guidelines have been a source of some confusion, though. They state people can gather outside as long as they stay two metres apart. 

But public health officials, like Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin, are urging people to avoid holding large outdoor gatherings.

On Monday, Drouin called on the Quebec government to clarify what's allowed. 

"It would be desirable to specify a maximum number of people who can gather outside while respecting the two-metre distance," she said in a statement to CBC News.

Child protection waiting lists going down

The wait for youth protection services in Quebec is at a historic low, and junior health minister Lionel Carmant says credit should go to the government's recent $65 million investment into the system. 

But experts and union officials believe the decrease is more likely due to the pandemic, which has closed many of the usual facilities where children in need of help are identified. 

Other info you should know

Wearing gloves can give you a false sense of security, say public health officials, who recommend hand-washing as a safer way for everyday people to protect themselves against the novel coronavirus.

The push for a greener economy on the other side of COVID-19 restrictions is growing. A group of environmental, financial and political figures want Canada to come up with a recovery plan focused on emissions-reducing and sustainable projects.

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