MONTREAL -- The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases dropped to historic lows again for the second day in a row.

Friday's number of new COVID-19 cases (530) was the lowest in Quebec since March 31.

Saturday, Quebec public health officials announced that there are 419 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, which is the lowest since March 28 when there were 342 confirmed. The total number of cases in the province is now 50,651.

Authorities also announced that 76 more people have died due to the virus bringing the total number of deaths to 4,439.

Of the total cases, 16,070 have recovered (around 31 per cent), which is 162 more than Friday.

The number of hospitalizations dropped by 68 for a total of 1,197, who are receiving care. Of those, 167 are in intensive care, which is five fewer than 24 hours ago.

Montreal is the epicentre of the virus in Canada and recorded 184 new cases for a total of 25,227. Fifty of the 76 deaths were also recorded on the island, and 13 in Laval, which has now recorded 608 deaths.

Province reopening

Quebec began allowing outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people from three families with social distancing in place as of May 22.

On May 25 some retail businesses reopened in the greater Montreal area. Quebec reopened retail stores outside Montreal on May 11.

Day camps across the province will be allowed to open as of June 22, with physical distancing and other COVID-19 health measures in effect. That means smaller groups of children and frequent handwashing. As for sleep-away summer camps, they won't be allowed to reopen until next year.

Quebec's construction and manufacturing industries have resumed operations with limits on the number of employees who can work per shift. Elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal reopened on May 11, but high schools, junior colleges and universities will stay closed until September.

Elementary schools in the greater Montreal area will remain closed until late August.

Premier Francois Legault says public health conditions haven't been met in the area hardest hit by the coronavirus, so Montreal daycares will also remain closed until at least June 1.

The good news, he says, is that hairdressers, nail salons and other personal care businesses will be able to open in the Montreal area on June 15.

Meanwhile, checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 came down on May 18 in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa.


With reporting by The Canadian Press.