Provinces begin easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

James Marshall
May 6, 2020

The province's official Opposition earlier called on the government to push back the dates for reopening businesses and schools in the Montreal area.

Out of the 75 people who recently died of the virus, 72 were residents of a long-term care home.

Meanwhile, Quebec announced 118 new COVID-19 deaths compared with the prior day, for a total of 2,398.

Originally, Montreal had schedules non-essential stores to open on May 11, however, Quebec Premier Francois Legault has delayed this until May 18 over this new wave of deaths.

Quebec is the only one of Canada's provinces to have made a decision to re-open its primary schools by the end of this academic year in June.

That leaves Montreal hospitals with less capacity to deal with a surge of new cases, which public health experts warn could be a effect of lifting confinement measures, Legault said.

"We know that if ... and when we reopen stores, we'll probably have more cases in our hospitals", he said in Quebec City. "We can see a plateau and even an increase in cases".

"The great majority of hospitalizations caused by coronavirus are now happening in the Montreal region", he said.

Montreal now has 16,606 confirmed cases. They say it gives them more time to accumulate more data on the way COVID-19 is spreading in Montreal.

While several emergency rooms in Montreal hospitals were showing unusually low occupancy rates at the beginning of the pandemic, they are now beginning to fill up, with some reporting being over capacity.

The province has also promised to significantly ramp up testing and has opened a new testing centre in the hard-hit borough of Montreal-Nord, the site of one of the city's worst outbreaks.

On Monday afternoon, Montreal announced it was partnering with the city's transit agency to use buses to create mobile testing units.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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