‘Chances are low’ restaurants in coronavirus red zones will reopen soon, Quebec premier says

Quebec Premier François Legault says that “chances are low” that restaurants in designated red zones will reopen by the end of the month and that he is urging more people to work from home, citing concerns about the progression of the novel coronavirus.

“The situation remains worrisome,” he told reporters Thursday, saying that despite a stabilization of new infections, fatalities are high.

There were 20 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, eight of which occurred in the last 24 hours. The health crisis has claimed the lives of 6,094 Quebecers to date.

“When we saw 20 deaths, it’s not just statistics,” said Legault. “It’s real people.”

The province also reported 1,033 new cases, bringing the total to 97,231. More than 82,000 recoveries have been recorded since the health crisis started.

Read more: Montreal ‘progressing in the right way’ as coronavirus cases start to plateau, officials say

Hospitalizations dropped by 12 to 553 on Thursday. Of them, 101 patients are in intensive care units, an increase of seven from the previous day.

After three weeks of lockdown measures in Montreal and Quebec City, Legault said “chances are low” that restaurants in designated red zones will open after Oct. 28. But authorities are waiting until next week to make a final decision about restrictions, he added.

The premier also stressed that the public needs to continue limiting their social contacts and to work from home if possible.

“I will be very clear: I need the collaboration of all Quebecers,” Legault said. “I need a collective effort to save our health-care system, to save lives.”

The latest update shows that 26,070 tests were conducted Tuesday. The province has carried out 2,887,226 tests to date.

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