1,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec as province prepares for midnight shutdown
UPDATE: Quebec has 1,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday afternoon and two more patients have died
There are 1,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec as of Tuesday afternoon, Quebec health authorities have announced.
That's up sharply from the 628 cases that were confirmed as of Monday afternoon.
Sixty-seven COVID-19 patients in Quebec were in hospital as of Tuesday afternoon, 31 of them in intensive care.
Health authorities reported that 2,548 people were still awaiting test results; 12,202 tests have come back negative.
There remained four deaths in the province linked to COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon. One person who had contracted COVID-19 has since recovered.
Of the 1,013 cases of COVID-19, 439 are in Montreal. You can find a regional breakdown of cases here.
One of the confirmed cases in Montreal is that of a doctor at Sainte-Justine, the children's hospital announced Tuesday. The doctor is now in self-isolation, it added, noting that all patients and staff that the doctor may have come in contact with have been contacted and that all necessary precautionary measures have been taken.
Tuesday's announcement came just hours ahead of a government-mandated shutdown of all non-essential businesses and services, which must close for three weeks as of midnight Tuesday.
The closings are part of what Quebec Premier Francois Legault has called a province-wide "pause" in the hope of stemming the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec.
"I know we are going through difficult times," Legault said at Quebec's daily update Tuesday. "I know it's stressful for businesses, for workers, for families, for the elderly."
"We have to remember that all this is temporary," Legault added. "We are all in this together. Quebecers will help each other get through."
But Legault said the increasingly strict measures his government is implementing are essential to slow the spread of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
"The faster we limit contagion, the faster we will save lives and return to normal life,"Legault said.
On Monday the Quebec government, issued a list of essential businesses and services that can remain open through April 13. Legault said the list will be continuously updated.
See the map: Tracking COVID-19 cases across the province: