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Sports Coronavirus live updates: ‘Chances are low’ that restaurants in red zones can reopen on Oct. 29, Legault says

23:55  22 october  2020
23:55  22 october  2020 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Coronavirus live updates: ‘Our mission this weekend is to starve the virus’ – Legault

  Coronavirus live updates: ‘Our mission this weekend is to starve the virus’ – Legault Check this post throughout the day on Friday, Oct. 9. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates ‘Our mission this weekend is to starve the virus’ – Legault Quebec reports 1,102 cases, 22 deaths and eight more hospitalizations Opinion: Shutting down the dangerous agents of disinformation U.S. consulate fires Montreal chef for refusing to work during red alert Vaccine still months away but review team working to speed approvals Montrealers can get tested at 20 clinics today More below 12:40 p.m.

a man standing in front of a building: Hubert Hotte, right, brings out food for waiting customer picking-up order at restaurant located on Rachel St. on Sept. 28, 2020. © Provided by The Gazette Hubert Hotte, right, brings out food for waiting customer picking-up order at restaurant located on Rachel St. on Sept. 28, 2020.

Check this post throughout the day on Thursday, Oct. 22. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

Top updates

  • ‘Chances are low’ that restaurants in red zones can reopen on Oct. 29, Legault says
  • 54 workers at Quebec meat plant test positive
  • Quebec deploys emergency teams to 4 CHSLDs struggling with outbreaks
  • Plante offers free parking to spur local holiday shopping
  • Quebec reports 1,033 new cases, 20 more deaths
  • Without financial aid, Tourism Montreal fears hotels will permanently close
  • Subscribe to our nightly newsletter

More below

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4:20 p.m.

At least four bingo players infected in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

At least four people who took part in bingo games at a hall in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu this month have tested positive, Le Devoir is reporting .

4 p.m.

Trudeau Airport raises improvement fee by $5

Citing “a significant decrease in passenger traffic and associated revenues” due to the pandemic, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) today announced that it will increase its airport improvement fee from $30 to $35, effective Feb. 1.

Departing passengers must pay the fee, plus taxes, with revenue used to finance airport infrastructure.

The increase will generate an additional $20 million in revenue in 2021, the airport authority said.

It’s the first increase since April 2018.

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ADM said passenger traffic is expected to drop by 71 per cent in 2020, compared to 2019. Next year, a drop of at least 50 per cent is expected.

“While a major budget rationalization exercise has reduced our capital budget to the strict minimum for the coming years, significant amounts have had to and will continue to be made available annually to ensure that our airport site complies with current safety and security regulations and requirements,” said ADM chief executive Philippe Rainville.

“ADM has a duty to ensure that its facilities are upgraded and we will never compromise on this. In the current context, we have no choice but to proceed with this $5 increase, which will partially offset the substantial cash shortfall that will be created by this crisis.”

3:40 p.m.

NHL postpones Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend

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Is Pandemic Unity Between Ottawa And The Provinces Starting To Slip? (Analysis)

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“We felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended,” the league said.

3:15 p.m.

End of line for Grumman 78 as it hits COVID-19 roadblock

Few saw this closure coming.

True, too many restaurants have already been shuttered because of the pandemic, and more will certainly suffer a similar fate thanks to this latest lockdown. But news that the owners of Grumman 78 were calling it quits after 10 years came as a real shocker.

Most had assumed owners and founders Hilary McGown and Gaëlle Cerf would have been more able than most to weather this COVID-19 storm.

But when McGown and Cerf feel compelled to hang up the tires of their “inimitable GMC Grumman 1978” food truck and close their über-cool St-Henri garage-turned-taco shop, it can’t bode at all well for others in the business.

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Bill Brownstein spoke to McGown and Cerf about their difficult decision .

a group of people standing in a room:  Owners Gaelle Cerf (left) and Hilary McGown sit in what was once the bustling kitchen area of their Grumman 78 restaurant. “I feel like I’ve lost my home and I’ve lost my people,” McGown says. © Provided by The Gazette Owners Gaelle Cerf (left) and Hilary McGown sit in what was once the bustling kitchen area of their Grumman 78 restaurant. “I feel like I’ve lost my home and I’ve lost my people,” McGown says.
3:05 p.m.

Another Quebec major junior hockey team suspends activities

2:50 p.m.

‘Wear a mask’

2:40 p.m.

Cases mount in Indigenous communities

From The Canadian Press:

The number of COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities across Canada is still rising.

Indigenous Services Canada says there were 160 new cases reported for each of the two weeks leading up to Oct. 17.

The department says the growing numbers have been linked to large gatherings, both public and private, where physical distancing and mask-wearing was not observed.

The department says as of today, there have been 1,000 confirmed positive cases on First Nations reserves since the pandemic began, including 322 active cases.

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There have been 15 deaths.

There has also been a total of 25 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Nunavik, in northern Quebec, and five of those cases remain active.

2:15 p.m.

Alberta to launch rapid-test pilot project at airport, U.S. border

The Alberta government says rapid COVID-19 tests will soon be available at the Calgary airport and a United States border crossing in the province, The Canadian Press is reporting.

The pilot project is to start Nov. 2 and will be voluntary.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said if travellers take the tests, they will not have to quarantine for the required 14 days.

If they test negative, they will be allowed to leave quarantine if they promise to get a second test on the sixth or seventh day after their arrival.

2:10 p.m.

‘Chances are low’ that restaurants in red zones can reopen on Oct. 29, Legault says

Premier François Legault says the “situation remains worrisome” in Quebec.

He said it’s too early to say whether Quebec will lift restrictions in red zones that have closed bars and restaurant dining rooms until Oct. 28.

The government will make an announcement early next week, Legault said.

But he noted that reopening restaurants would increase the risk of infections rising.

“If we decide tomorrow morning to reopen, there is a risk that the spread will increase. Today, it is the opposite that must be done,” Legault said.

He said the situation may change, but today the “chances are low” that restaurants will be able to open.

Speaking at a press conference in Quebec City, he noted that 20 new deaths were reported today.

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“They’re not just statistics, they’re all people, they’re mothers, fathers, friends,” Legault said.

Quebec has added about 1,000 new cases per day over the past three weeks, he noted. It was inevitable that hospitalizations and deaths would then increase, he noted.

“The second wave is here, the second wave is strong,” Legault said. “It’s serious, it’s worrisome. Not only in Quebec, everywhere in the world.”

He noted Quebec added 122 new cases per one million population yesterday.

That compares to 192 in the United States – 392 in the United Kingdom and 410 in France.

Quebec must remain vigilant to avoid the fate of those countries, Legault said.

He urged Quebecers to further reduce their contacts with other people. Anyone who can work from home should do so, Legault said.

Health Minister Christian Dubé said despite the situation at four CHSLDs where the province has sent in emergency teams, the situation today is not nearly as bad as it was in the spring.

He said 50 days into the first wave, more than 2,700 people were infected in 100 CHSLDs.

Today, 50 days into the second wave, 320 people are infected in 40 CHSLDs.

Legault was asked about a recent Montreal public health survey that showed almost half of Montrealers aged 18 to 24 are reporting anxiety or depression.

Many of those young adults are CEGEP and university students who have not been in class since March.

Will Quebec ease restrictions on post-secondary institutions?

Legault said he has spoken with Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann about possibly allowing CEGEP and university students to attend classes in shifts and in “very large classrooms.”

But that cannot happen at a time when Quebec is still reporting 1,000 new cases daily, the premier said.

The problem is that if you allow older students to return to class “y ou create an increase in potential contacts.”

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For example, students may be kept two metres apart in the classroom but there is a risk of them getting closer on their way into and out of classrooms, he said.

12:55 p.m.

54 workers at Quebec meat plant test positive

Following up on my earlier item about the Olymel pork processing plant in the Beauce, here’s an update from The Canadian Press:

Fifty-four workers at an Olymel pork processing plant in Quebec have now tested positive for COVID-19, the company said Thursday.

The union that represents workers at the plant is calling for it to be closed temporarily.

However, Richard Vigneault, a spokesman for Olymel, said the company is following guidance from public health officials who have not recommended the plant be closed.

Read the full story here .

12:50 p.m.

Videos: Plante says it’s not politically awkward to offer free parking; city studying snow-clearing amid pandemic

12:40 p.m.

Hospitalizations rise in Canada as flu season looms

Dr. Theresa Tam says the number of people in hospitals for COVID-19 treatment keeps rising, and that has her worried as the autumn flu season closes in, The Canadian Press reports.

In her daily update on the pandemic today, Canada’s chief public health officer said nearly 1,000 Canadians are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 200 of them are in intensive care.

Tam said those numbers lag behind increases and declines in COVID-19 cases by up to three weeks, so we can expect them to keep rising.

12:15 p.m.

Quebec deploys emergency teams to 4 CHSLDs struggling with outbreaks

Unsatisfied with managers’ explanations, Quebec is deploying so-called SWAT teams to four long-term care homes where COVID-19 outbreaks are significant, La Presse Canadienne is reporting.

Health Minister Christian Dubé said he hopes that the emergency field teams will bring the situation back under control in the CHSLDs.

The establishments concerned are in the Eastern Townships, and the Quebec City, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Montérégie regions. The proportion of infected residents ranges from 32 per cent to 76 per cent.

The health department says protocols were followed at the CHSLDs but other factors could be at play, including the dilapidated state of the establishments and worker shortages.

The four facilities:

  • CHSLD de Lambton (Eastern Townships), 22 cases (76 per cent of residents), 6 deaths
  • CHSLD du Fargy (Quebec City) 38 cases (69 per cent of residents), 5 deaths
  • CHSLD Isidore-Gauthier (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean) 16 cases (47 per cent of residents), 7 deaths
  • CHSLD Sainte-Croix (Montérégie) 37 cases (32 per cent of residents), 13 deaths
11:45 a.m.

Plante offers free parking to spur local holiday shopping

Mayor Valérie Plante, who for years has tried to dissuade Montrealers from using their cars, is offering free parking to get people to do just that to help struggling local businesses.

“Some businesses might not survive if we don’t support them,” Plante told a press conference on Thursday morning.

Parking will be free at 18,000 parking spots across the city from mid-November to the end of the year.

“Today, as the holiday season approaches, I am speaking to Montrealers who are about to do their Christmas shopping,” Plante said. “I am giving us the collective challenge of taking advantage of the holiday season to save Montreal’s commercial vitality.”

Among the measures it announced:

  • Free on-street parking on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the city of Montreal, from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31.
  • To encourage physical distancing, stores can extend their hours during the same period. They can opt to stay open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 7 p.m. on weekends.
  • Animation will be provided downtown during the winter.

“The holiday season, especially this year, when it will unfold in the midst of a pandemic, is crucial for our merchants,” said Billy Walsh, president of the Association des Sociétés de développement commercial de Montréal.

“More than ever, it is necessary to support our local and proximity businesses at the dawn of a period when sales will be decisive for their survival in 2021.”

The moves were applauded by small businesses.

“The specific measures announced today…will help consumers support their local businesses during the holiday season,” said François Vincent, Quebec vice-president at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“Currently, 75 per cent of Montreal small- and medium-sized businesses have not yet returned to their normal level of sales, so for them, registering more sales will make a big difference.”

11:10 a.m.

Updated charts: Quebec cases, deaths

11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 1,033 new cases, 20 more deaths

Quebec has recorded 1,033 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

Twenty new deaths were reported. Eight occurred over the past 24 hours and another 12 between Oct. 15 and 20.

The number of hospitalizations fell by 12 to reach 553.

Among those in hospital, 101 are in intensive care – seven more than the previous day.

On Tuesday, 26,070 people were tested. That’s the last day for which screening data is available.

This chart shows the seven-day trend:

table © Provided by The Gazette
10:50 a.m.

Quebecers will soon book tests online and get results via text – Dubé

Quebec is deploying new technology to streamline testing, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced this morning.

Among other things, it will allow people to book appointments online and receive the results by text message.

The province says the system, developed by Deloitte, will, reduce wait times for screening and results, and “free up thousands of hours of health professionals who can thus be redirected to clinical tasks instead of the administrative tasks they currently perform.”

A pilot project is currently underway at two clinics (one in Montreal, the other in Quebec City), with five others expected to join soon.

Within six to eight weeks, “the solution will be used for all screening clinics in Quebec,” the government said.

Dubé said the technology “has many advantages, both for the population and the staff of the health and social services network. In fact, negative results can be transmitted automatically, freeing up nurses who can concentrate on administering screening tests and tracing activities. I am convinced that this tool will make a considerable contribution to improving our screening process in Quebec and to providing oxygen to the network by assigning the right professional, to the right place, at the right time.”

For one year, the system will cost $12.4 million, the government said.

10:30 a.m.

Union calls for Quebec meat plant to be closed after worker dies

A union that represents workers at a Beauce slaughterhouse and meat processing plant where a worker has died is demanding that the facility be closed.

On Wednesday, Olymel, which produces, processes and distributes pork and poultry products, said the worker had tested positive for COVID-19 had died.

Olymel said “an investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of this death and whether they are related to COVID-19.”

About 40 workers have tested positive at the plant, which is in Vallée-Jonction, about 300 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

In response, a union affiliated with the Confédération des syndicats nationaux said the plant should be closed for at least two weeks.

“From the first wave of the pandemic, we demanded protective measures to adequately protect all workers in the plant,” the union said in a press release.

However, it added, during the summer, Olymel “relaxed certain health measures that had been put in place to prevent any outbreak. The return of overtime and the cancellation of a 10-minute buffer period between shifts are two concrete examples of this relaxation. Also, several subcontractors work at the plant and we do not even know whether they comply with the protective measures that are in place regarding movement from one workplace to another.”

The union – the Syndicat des travailleurs d’Olymel Vallée-Jonction-CSN – represents about 1,050 workers.

10:10 a.m.

WestJet to issue refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19

WestJet says it will refund passengers whose flights were cancelled due to COVID-19.

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10 a.m.

Let us open our dining rooms, Quebec restaurateurs urge Legault government

A group of restaurateurs this morning is urging Quebec Premier François Legault to let them reopen their dining rooms, saying they feel betrayed after the government ordered them to shut down despite efforts to make them conform to COVID-19 health regulations.

Read our full story .

9:45 a.m.

Video: Do Montrealers think we’ll be in a lockdown all winter?

9:35 a.m.

Without financial aid, Tourism Montreal fears hotels will permanently close

Montreal restaurants, hotels and attractions desperately need financial aid from governments, the city’s tourism industry association says.

“It would be deplorable and fraught with consequences for Montreal to lose in a few months the enviable position as a leisure and business destination that it has forged over several years,” Yves Lalumière, chief executive of Tourism Montreal, said today.

“The real danger is the destruction of our tourism offer, especially since, after many investments in the massive modernization of its hotels, Montreal runs the risk of losing its hard-won place as a first-choice destination in North America.”

Hotels, the heart of Montreal’s leisure and business economy, are faced with “a hopeless situation caused by the impacts of the pandemic,” Lalumière added. “While some have already gone out of business, others are trying to avoid the worst, despite low occupancy rates, insufficient income, growing debts and lack of direct government assistance. Tourism Montreal is concerned about the immediate future of the hotel sector and the long-term consequences of the permanent closure of several establishments.”

Montreal’s vast inventory of hotel rooms “plays a central role in the city’s ability to attract and host major national and international events and conferences,” Lalumière added.

Montreal’s tourism industry has helped turn Montreal into “a highly competitive and attractive destination that has contributed billions of dollars to the municipal, provincial and national economy. We were on an extraordinary momentum, but last March we hit the wall because of the pandemic.

“It is essential that governments act quickly by offering financial assistance that will prove to be equal to the damage caused and the consequences to come. Otherwise, Montreal will fall back 10 or 20 years.”

9:20 a.m.

Curve is flattening in Montreal, but young adults are struggling

The COVID-19 situation in Montreal is progressing in the right direction, but the city’s public health director says current efforts must continue for several more weeks.

And the positivity rate is still high and growing slowly, with five per cent of those tested getting positive results across the Montreal region. In certain hot-spot neighbourhoods — including St-Laurent, Parc-Extension, Côte-des-Neiges, Pointe-St-Charles and Snowdon — the rate is over 15 per cent.

In addition, a recent survey found 46 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 in the Montreal region were experiencing symptoms compatible with generalized anxiety or major depression. (This compares with 24 per cent of those age 25 and older.)

Read our full story , by Michelle Lalonde.

9:15 a.m.

Montrealers can get tested at clinics across the island today

Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here .

8:45 a.m.

Quebec has almost 9,000 active cases

This was the situation across Canada as of last night, according to the Canada COVID-19 Situational Awareness Dashboard.

map
8:30 a.m.

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Related

Legault welcomes applause by Macron, suggests Trudeau giving in to terror 'blackmail' .
MONTREAL — France's president called Quebec Premier Francois Legault to thank him for his defence of free speech, Legault said Tuesday. The Quebec premier then criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue by suggesting he was giving into blackmail. Legault said he and Emmanuel Macron spoke during a phone call Tuesday morning that touched on the recent terrorist attacks in France, which authorities have attributed to Islamic extremists. In one of the recent attacks, a French teacher was beheaded after showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

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