Montreal·The Latest

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

Quebec hit its goal of conducting at least 14,000 tests per day last week, and shopping malls outside the greater Montreal area can reopen June 1.

Masks are being handed out as retail stores reopen in Montreal

A woman wears a face mask as she walks through downtown Montreal on Sunday. Today, retail stores are reopening. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • Montreal retail locations that have direct outdoor access are reopening this morning. 
  • Quebec has 47,984 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 4,069 people have died.  On Monday, the government announced an increase of 573 cases and 85 deaths from a day earlier.
  • There are 1,425 people in hospital (a decrease of 10), including 179 in intensive care (an increase of nine). Here's a guide to the numbers
  • The Health Ministry and Education Ministry will work together to organize three-month training sessions for young people hoping to help fill the staffing gaps in the province's nursing homes.

Quebec is continuing to reopen parts of the economy, with Premier François Legault announcing that shopping malls outside the Montreal area can reopen June 1.

At his regular news conference Monday, he said the province had also surpassed its goal of 14,000 tests per day at the end of last week. 

WATCH | Legault explains new rules for outdoor gatherings

Premier François Legault is reminding Quebecers that outside gatherings of ten people are allowed but from no more than three different families.  1:13

Legault also said Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette will be looking into how asylum seekers working in the province's understaffed long-term care homes could go through the regular immigration process.

The co​​​​mments represent a departure for Legault, who has previously rejected the idea of giving any kind of preference for asylum seekers and others without status working in essential jobs during the pandemic.

Masks for public transit users

Public transit users in Laval and Montreal are being encouraged to wear masks as hundreds of thousands of people return to work this morning.

Politicians and a brigade of STM workers are handing out free masks at Metro stations in Laval and Montreal this morning. Exo will also be giving out masks.

As more people start heading back to work, local politicians join public transit staff in distributing masks. For now, the masks are recommended, but not mandatory. 0:59

The risks of reopening

Retail stores across the Montreal area open for the first time in nearly two months today, but with the number of cases still rampant in the area, some are concerned that is happening too soon

While there have been some improvements in Montreal's situation, it hasn't been enough to completely erase the fears of epidemiologists.

But as Legault continues to lift restrictions, several factors that have contributed to the ongoing disaster remain unaddressed, including a staffing shortage in long-term care homes and crowded Montreal hospitals. 

Retail stores reopen

Stores will look a little different when they open today, with new safety measures to keep both shoppers and staff safe.

Stickers on the floor indicating that customers should stand two metres apart, as well as plexiglass barriers are just some of the ways Montreal stores have had to adapt amid the pandemic. 

But in stores where customers are accustomed to touching items and trying things on, employees face a whole other set of challenges.

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