MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is pushing back until May 18 the reopening of Montreal shops initially planned for next week.
Legault said Monday, May 4 there are too many COVID-19 patients in Montreal’s hospitals to safely open retail stores by the scheduled date of May 11.
Legault says the construction and manufacturing sectors across Quebec will reopen as scheduled on May 11.
Quebec recorded another 75 COVID-19 deaths, for a total of 2,280, and the province announced 32,623 confirmed cases of the virus, an increase of 758.
The province’s official Opposition earlier called on the government to push back the dates for reopening businesses and schools in the Montreal area.
Quebec Liberal Leader Pierre Arcand says it’s too early to consider easing COVID-19 containment measures in the city, which counted over 16,000 cases and 1,365 deaths as of May 3.
In a news conference in front of a COVID-stricken long-term care home, Arcand said the province should first increase its testing rate and bring the transmission of the virus under control.
Elementary schools and daycares are scheduled to resume, with distancing measures in place, on May 11 in regions outside Montreal and on May 19 in Montreal.
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.
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