Premier Legault says Quebec bars may close after spike in coronavirus cases

After Quebec reported its highest number of single-day cases since June, Legault on Thursday expressed his concern and is looking into closing the province’s bars.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

After Quebec reported its highest number of reported single-day cases since June, Premier Legault on Thursday expressed his concern and is looking into closing the province’s bars, reports CTV News.

Quebec’s director of public health will soon make a recommendation on the possibility of closing bars and nightclubs after analyzing the situation. The news follows a number of recent outbreaks connected to venues in the Montreal area.

On Thursday, 142 new coronavirus cases were reported by the province along with 10 deaths—nine of them in the past day. In total, Quebec has reported 57,001 cases and 5,646 deaths.

Quebec hospitalizations however, have continued to decrease with the total number of patients now at 277—a decrease of 8. Of those patients, 20 are currently in intensive care.

"At this moment, we haven't ruled out closing the bars," Legault told reporters.

There were 12,887 coronavirus tests conducted in the province on Tuesday, say authorities.

At least 30 of the cases were linked to nine bars in the Montreal area and as a result, health officials instructed residents to get tested if they have appeared in a bar since July 1.

Last week, Quebec conducted measures to lower the amount of coronavirus exposure in venues by reducing their capacity to 50 percent. The bars were also required to finish serving customers alcohol by midnight.

"We tightened the rules," said Legault on Thursday. "But yes, I have concerns."

People criticized the government this week after long waiting hours were reported in Montreal’s drop-in medical centres.

On Wednesday, Quebec announced that it plans to increase the city’s testing capacity by 1,000 tests per day.

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Sam Edwards
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