Quebec requests 1,000 Armed Forces members to help out in embattled seniors' homes
MONTREAL -- Quebec has offically requested another 1,000 members of Canada's Armed Forces to help out in the province's long-term care home for seniors, which have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada has already sent 125 members of the military to work in the residences, known as CHSLDs, the majority of which have seen outbreaks of COVID-19 and hundreds of related patient deaths.
"The situation in seniors' residences is still critical," Legault said Wednesday, adding that the extra soldiers "will give us more resources to help us with non-medical tasks."
The Quebec government has been struggling to fill a shortage of workers in the residences, and has already recruited hundreds of doctors and medical specialists to help out in the CHSLDs.
"Outside of the senior residences, distancing measures are working," Legault added. "The next few days will show if we're really on the right side of the curve."
If the situation in Quebec continues to stabilize, Legault said his government would next week present a plan to gradually reopen the province's economy and start sending Quebec children back to school.
"Our challenge will be to restart the economy without restarting the pandemic," Legault said. "And with this plan, we'll have time to prepare accordingly."
Legault said parents who are not comfortable sending their children back to school will not be forced to do so.
He reiterated that his government would go ahead with gradually reopening schools and businesses only after getting the green light from health authorities.
"As I've said many times, public health will be our top priority," Legault said.
There are now 1,134 people who have died of COVID-19 in Quebec, health authorities announced Wednesday, as confirmed cases in the province reached 20,965.
That’s up 93 from the 1,041 deaths reported Tuesday; COVID-19 cases in Quebec rose 839 from the 20,126 announced a day earlier.
There are 1,278 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Wednesday, up 54 from the 1,224 reported Tuesday. Of those in a hospital, 199 are in intensive care, down two from the 201 reported 24 hours earlier.
There are 4,839 people waiting for COVID-19 test results in Quebec as of Wednesday, 1,869 from the 2,970 reported Tuesday.
The number of people in Quebec who have recovered from COVID-19 as of Wednesday was 4,291, up 243 from the 4,048 recoveries reported a day earlier.
With 9,856 confirmed cases, Montreal remains the epicentre of COVID-19 in Quebec; you can see a map breaking down COVID-19 by provincial region here.