COVID-19 in Quebec: under increasing fire, the Prime Minister cancels the reopening of Montreal retail stores on May 18

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The last:

  • Quebec has 32,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,280 people have died. This represents 75 more registered deaths, including 72 deaths of seniors in care.
  • There are 1,772 people hospitalized, including 218 in intensive care.
  • Here is a guide to the numbers.
  • Some retail businesses outside of the greater Montreal area are reopening today. We have updated our guide to what is open and closed.
  • The provincial government will take stock of the situation in Quebec at 1 p.m. You can watch live above.

The Quebec government has postponed the opening of retail trade in the Greater Montreal region by one week. Stores are now expected to reopen the week of May 18.

The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, said that the overcrowded hospitals in Montreal had motivated the decision announced during his briefing at 1 p.m. Monday.

This announcement comes at a time when there is growing fear that transmission rates will remain too high in Montreal, particularly in the north and east of the city, to justify moving forward with the reopening of the economy of the Montreal metropolis.

This is a developing story and will be updated. Read our previous story, below.


Earlier Monday, Pierre Arcand, the interim leader of the opposition Liberals, held a press conference to ask the government to backfire on plans to ease pandemic restrictions in the greater Montreal area.

Elementary schools and daycares are expected to reopen in the area again on May 19.

“Deconfining Montreal at this point shows a complete lack of caution,” said Arcand.

He said that the regional public health authority for the island of Montreal should hold daily press conferences to inform citizens of the situation, and he called on the minister responsible for the city, Chantal Rouleau, to participate.

Arcand also said that many more tests need to be done before the region – with more than half of all infections, the epicenter of the pandemic in Quebec – opens significantly.

Montreal public health director pushes back

Montreal public health director Mylène Drouin has a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, accompanied by the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, to discuss the tests. Earlier Monday, Drouin told Radio-Canada that the current situation in Montreal was not safe enough to start opening retail businesses.

“At first glance, with the numbers increasing and the trend does not decrease in terms of the number of cases, we obviously have the impression that we are not fulfilling all the conditions at the moment,” said Drouiin.

Drouin said she was waiting to see the results of tests carried out over the weekend in some of the city’s hot spots. She is scheduled to meet with the provincial director of public health, Horacio Arruda, later this week.

PM not sure if he would send his children to school right now

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will likely “wait until the last minute” to decide whether or not to send his children back to school if they lived in Quebec. (Radio-Canada)

Teachers should be at work today to prepare for the return of their students. For elementary students outside of Greater Montreal, this happens on May 11. Some schools in the Montreal area have asked parents to let them know today if they plan to send their children.

Quebec is the only province that plans to reopen schools before summer.

The decision has been the subject of criticism, in particular by certain school boards which claim are not sure that they will be able to meet the government’s timetable.

Sure Everybody talks about it Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked on Sunday if he would send his children back to school if he lived in Quebec.

“I don’t know,” said Trudeau. “It is a very personal decision for many parents. “

He said he would like to know the details of how the school was making changes to follow public health recommendations.

“I would probably make this decision at the last minute,” he said. Return to class is voluntary and does not include high schools.

“It’s difficult for kids, they want to see their friends,” said Trudeau. “It’s hard for parents. “

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