MONTREAL -- Quebec public health authorities announced Sunday that 142 more people have died from COVID-19 and there are 735 new confirmed cases of the virus.

The number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours is more than double from the 61 reported between Friday and Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases is now at 37,721, and 2,928 have died from the virus.

There were four fewer Quebecers in the hospital Sunday than the previous day, with 1,831 patients receiving treatment. There were also six fewer patients in intensive care wards for a total of 199.

The number of those who have recovered rose by 258 to 9,526.


The hardest hit borough in the hardest hit city in the country is Montreal North, which began a massive testing and protective equipment distribution effort on the weekend.

According to the borough, 40,000 masks, 1,250 protective visors and hundreds of litres of disinfectant liquid are being distributed throughout the territory.


Quebec reopened retail stores outside Montreal on Monday while those in the greater Montreal region are to reopen May 25.

For the second time, the province pushed back the reopening of retail stores in the greater Montreal area by another week.

Premier Francois Legault said the province will keep close tabs on the situation in the city before deciding whether stores, daycares and elementary schools can reopen later this month.

Elsewhere in Quebec, lottery terminals have begun to reopen after being shut down on March 20 with sales moving to online only.

Legault has set May 11 as reopening day for schools and daycares outside greater Montreal. High schools, junior colleges and universities are to stay closed until September.

Quebec's construction industry is to completely start up May 11, while manufacturing companies are to resume operations the same day with initial limits on the total number of employees who can work per shift.

Real estate transactions will also resume May 11.


With files from The Canadian Press.