Quebec records 10 more deaths in single day as coronavirus cases rise to 2,021

The Quebec government has announced there are 10 more deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 18.

Premier Francois Legault confirmed there are 2,021 COVID-19 cases in the province as of Friday afternoon — up 392 from the previous day.

“I want to offer my sincere condolences to the families, to their loved ones,” he said. “I know it’s hard.”

As the health crisis deepens across the country, the Quebec government is asking people to stay home unless going out for essential services. Walks are still permitted, but Legault urged caution.

“If you have symptoms of the virus, you will not take a walk,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec seeks volunteers during health crisis as coronavirus deaths climb to 8

While the province continues to tighten its measures, there has been a growing number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Public health authorities are keeping a close eye on Montreal, where nearly half of the province’s COVID-19 infections have been reported.

Quebec’s families minister is also holding a news conference in the afternoon specifically for children. Mathieu Lacombe is expected to answer questions submitted by kids online.

READ MORE: Quebec public health officials closely monitoring situation in Côte Saint-Luc

The province is calling on anyone who is healthy and under the age of 70 to donate their time by signing up online to volunteer. Proper social-distancing measures will be maintained, but the government says organizations that provide essential services need help.

Volunteer activities include making calls to seniors, getting groceries for people with disabilities and providing household help for those in need.

Church bells to ring out on Sunday

Places of worship must remain closed under the province’s order to shutter all non-essential businesses, but two religious leaders are proposing a gesture of solidarity.

Catholic churches will ring the bells for 10 minutes at noon on Sunday to send a message of hope to Quebecers during a difficult time.

Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine and Quebec Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat said in a statement that the crescendo will continue every Sunday until Easter.

“We want familiar bells to warm everybody’s heart, especially those of the elderly, who may feel more lonely, worried and in need of reassurance during this period of confinement,” said Pelchat.

2:12Coronavirus: Montreal suburb asking residents to report group gatherings

Coronavirus: Montreal suburb asking residents to report group gatherings

⁠— With files from the Canadian Press

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