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Quebec museums, libraries and drive-in cinemas can reopen May 29
MONTREAL -- Museums, libraries and drive-in theatres across Quebec now have the green light to reopen May 29, Quebec Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy announced Friday.
At libraries, only the lending services will be available, Roy added, not any of the other activities or services that those institutions may offer.
Roy also announced that recording studios in Quebec can reopen as of June 1, as can concert halls and other performance venues, but for the sole purpose of recording concerts or shows without an audience present.
Physical distancing and other public health directives aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 will be in place at all cultural institutions that will be reopening, Roy said.
"Cultural (activities) were the first to be hit by COVID because the nature of (the industry) is being together," Roy said. "It was important for us to give hope and start with some activities that we are able to do in respect of what public health is allowing us to do."
Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, warned Friday against citizens letting their guard down and failing to follow health measures.
Arruda told reporters during a daily provincial COVID-19 briefing that good weather might lead people to ignore the rules.
"You know being away from other people is not natural for humans -- especially when there's good weather, we are outside, we go back to our own reflexes," Arruda said.
Arruda said that's the reason behind the province's gradual approach to reopening, allowing limited outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households beginning Friday.
"We want people to get outside, but if there is too much contact, if there are too many people together, that augments the risk of someone (asymptomatic) giving it to others," Arruda said.
If the rules aren't followed, the number of COVID-19 cases could increase quickly, forcing the province to shutter again, he warned.
"And all that we've done to get to this point could (turn around) very fast," Arruda said.
THE DAILY NUMBERS
There are now 3,865 people who have died of COVID-19 in Quebec, health authorities announced Friday, as confirmed cases in the province reached 46,141.
That’s up 65 from the 3,800 deaths reported Thursday; COVID-19 cases in Quebec rose 646 from the 45,495 announced a day earlier.
There are 1,479 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Friday, down 25 from the 1,504 reported Thursday. Of those in a hospital, 171 are in intensive care, down five from the 176 reported 24 hours earlier.
Quebec reported that it completed 12,654 COVID-19 tests on Wednesday, up 1,055 from the 11,599 it completed a day earlier. (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
Health officials are encouraging anyone exposed to COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms to get tested as the province tries to hit its goal of 14,000 daily tests.
Quebec Deputy Premier Genevieve Guilbault said Friday that increased testing and following public health rules are key to reopening the province.
- The Canadian Press contributed to this report