MONTREAL -- Quebec Premier Francois Legault on Wednesday issued an urgent plea to the province's doctors to help out in Quebec's seniors' residences, many of which have been hit hard by COVID-19.

Legault said upwards of 2,000 workers in the long-term care residences, known as CHSLDs, are absent from the job due to COVID-19, fears of contracting the coronavirus or other short-term reasons.

And for the second day in a row, he called on general doctors and medical specialists - who he conceded may be overqualified for the work desperately needed at the moment at the CHSLDs - to step up.

"We need you to do the basic work," Legault pleaded. "I appeal to your sense of duty to help us take care of the elderly."

Health Minister Danielle McCann called on doctors who regularly do humanitarian work abroad to consider helping out in Quebec's CHSLDs as a humanitarian mission of its own kind.

"The humanitarian mission is in Quebec right now," McCann said.

There are now 487 people who have died of COVID-19 in Quebec, health authorities announced Wednesday, as confirmed cases in the province reached 14,860.

That’s up 52 from the 435 deaths reported Tuesday; COVID-19 cases in Quebec rose 612 from the 14,248 announced a day earlier.

There are 984 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Wednesday, up 48 from the 936 reported Tuesday; of those in a hospital, 218 are in intensive care, down 12 from the 230 reported 24 hours earlier.

There are 2,605 people waiting for COVID-19 test results in Quebec as of Wednesday, up 211 from the 2,394 reported Tuesday.

The number of people in Quebec who have recovered from COVID-19 as of Wednesday was 2,491, up 345 from the 2,146 recoveries reported Tuesday.

The Montreal region, with 6,830 confirmed cases, remains the epicentre of COVID-19 in Quebec; you can find a regional breakdown of COVID-19 in the province here.