MONTREAL -- Unsurprisingly, the executive committee of the City of Montreal renewed the state of emergency until May 26 throughout the territory of the agglomeration of Montreal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally decreed on March 27, the local state of emergency grants exceptional powers to the metropolis to deal with the pandemic.

There were 349 more confirmed cases reported in the Montreal area on Friday, for a total of 23,413 people infected. The Montreal region thus accounts for half of the confirmed cases of the disease in Quebec.


Provincial health authorities said Friday that 46,141 people infected in the province, including 65 new deaths, for a total of 3,865 people who have succumbed to COVID-19 since the start of the crisis last March.

Among the 1,479 people hospitalized on Friday, 171 patients were treated in intensive care.

The next Sante Quebec update should take place on Saturday afternoon. However, there will be no press conferences by Premier François Legault and his federal counterpart Justin Trudeau, who will take a break over the weekend.

On Friday, Quebec Deputy Premier Genevieve Guilbault and the Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, announced the reopening of museums, library loan counters and the province's five drive-in cinemas starting May 29.

Physical distance regulations, including remaining two metres apart, must be applied at all times. Cinemas will keep their play areas closed and their restaurants will only be for takeout orders only.

In addition, recording studios and the recording of indoor shows, without audiences, will be able to resume activities from June 1, observing very strict rules, including maintaining a distance of two metres between people on stage or in studio and reducing the technical team to a maximum of five people.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2020.