COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Thursday
The plan to reopen schools, daycares and businesses in the greater Montreal area has been delayed
- Quebec has 35,238 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 2,631 people have died. That's 121 more recorded deaths from a day earlier.
There are 1,836 people in hospital, including 224 in intensive care. Here's a guide to the numbers.
- The reopening of schools, daycares and businesses in Montreal has been postponed by a week.
- By mid-May, there will be 1,350 soldiers deployed in Quebec — a mixture of medical staff and general troops, covering 25 long-term care facilities.
- With outbreaks in provincial jails in the Montreal area, low-risk offenders serving fewer than 30 days can now seek release for medical reasons.
The Legault government will postpone the reopening of elementary schools, daycares and businesses in the greater Montreal area by one week.
The province had been facing increased criticism over its plan to open schools and daycares May 19, and businesses May 18.
Experts, including the World Health Organization, say increased testing is a must before any government lifts restrictions.
Canada's chief science adviser, Mona Nemer, told Radio-Canada Quebec still hasn't submitted a detailed plan to ramp up testing in conjunction with deconfinement.
- Read more about the postponement of the Montreal reopening plan.
Premier François Legault also announced Thursday that essential workers in the province's long-term care homes, private seniors' homes and hospitals with at least one COVID-19 case will be receiving a raise, using funds from a deal reached with the federal government.
Full-time workers will receive up to $1,000 in additional pay each month.
WATCH | Legault says Montreal is not yet ready to reopen
Hospitals running out of beds
Hospitals in the Montreal area are running out of beds, three weeks after health authorities stopped sending elderly patients back into the province's long-term care network, where the coronavirus continues to spread and claim dozens of lives each day.
Most of the hospitalized cases are from long-term care centres, known as CHSLDs. Patients who are recovering, and no longer require hospital care, have nowhere else to go because they might still be COVID-positive and the centres are grappling with outbreaks.
- Read more about how Montreal's hospitals are running out of space.
Pépé and his piano
And finally, some happy news.
When 97-year-old Roméo Boudreau was no longer able to go down to the common room of his long-term care home to play the piano, staff decided the piano would come to him.