Public health authorities in Quebec are reporting more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours as both new cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.
Authorities announced that 1,052 more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours for a total of 76,273, the largest single-day increase since May 3.
The number of hospitalizations in the province increased by 27 from Thursday to Friday, and there are now 302 people receiving care in the province’s hospitals for COVID-19. Of those, three more people are in the intensive care ward for a total of 49.
There were seven new deaths added to the total. Officials say six of them occurred between Sept. 25 and Sept. 30 and one death occurred before Sept. 25, bringing the total to 5,857. No new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
Quebec reports that 539 more people have recovered from the disease and the total number of recoveries is now 63,683.
‘DON’T ASK YOURSELF HOW TO GET AROUND THE RULES’
“It’s urgent to reduce our social contacts. We might need to close other activities in the coming days. We have to always stay at two metres from people who don’t live with us,” said Legault. In a response to some of the confusion regarding restrictions in the province’s red zones, Legault said to keep it simple. “Don’t ask yourself how to get around the rules – ask yourself how to keep your distances,” adding, “We need to reduce our social contacts. It’s a matter of life or death.”
Additional measures and closures could be introduced in the coming days, said Legault, though he said he does not intend to close schools.
“Regarding schools, for me it’s the last place I want to close,” he said. “I will do everything I can to keep schools open.”
Legault said currently only two per cent of classrooms are closed in the province.
The Island of Montreal reported 357 new cases (34,412 total), the Quebec City region increased by 183 (4,448 total) and Monteregie saw an increase of 112 cases (10,982 total).
Provincial police set up checkpoints on Friday to limit travel between regions in hopes of curbing the spread.
Health-care professionals analyzed 30,948 samples on Sept. 30. (Quebec provides sampling data from two days prior to its daily updates).
$50 MILLION FOR CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
Premier Francois Legault held a 1 p.m. news briefing in which he and Culture Minister Nathalie Roy announced a $50-million compensation package for cultural sectors. The package would refund 75 per cent of lost ticket sales for the next six months to cover the upcoming season. The compensation would be based on the annual ticket sales from last year and is an additional measure to the funding announced in June for the sector.
Legault said the government is providing six months of compensation so people can have a level of predictability, not because he anticipates closures in the sector for the next six months.
More than 500 cultural organizations stand to benefit from this measure, said Roy, specifying that it targets organizations that present Quebec shows in the fields of performing arts, music, variety, literature and storytelling.
To be entitled to the money, producers will have to prove that artists and other workers involved in the production will be paid, said Roy.