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Cases of COVID-19 in Quebec surge to 628; Legault orders all non-essential businesses to close
MONTREAL -- Quebec has 628 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, a sharp increase over the past 24 hours.
There were 219 confirmed cases as of Sunday afternoon. (The province began to include in its daily updates Monday positive tests at hospital labs; previously, only positive tests that were later confirmed by Quebec's public-health laboratory were included).
Forty-five patients are in hospital, 20 of them in intensive care, Quebec health authorities reported.
Quebec Premier Legault also announced Monday that all non-essential businesses in Quebec are to close for three weeks as of midnight tomorrow.
Legault said he was putting the province "on pause" through Easter Monday, April 13.
A full list of essential services and businesses that can remain open and operational was made public Monday afternoon.
Quebec has moved on to a new stage in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Legault said, noting that the province has identified its first instances of community transmission of the coronavirus.
Legault also ordered that seniors in residences must remain inside unless they have supervision.
Legault had predicted Sunday that there would be a surge in confirmed cases announced Monday, due largely to a significant increases in testing in the province.
This is a developing story that will be updated.