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Quebec cities face new COVID-19 restrictions as Ontario contends with testing backlog

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 12:08 pm EDT

As Quebec’s biggest cities began the first day of new restrictions meant to flatten a spike in COVID-19 infections, Ontario was dealing with a backlog of more than 82,000 tests. 

The partial lockdowns in the greater Montreal area, Quebec City and the Chaudiere-Appalaches region south of the provincial capital are to last at least 28 days. 

Bars, casinos, concert halls, cinemas, museums and libraries are to be shuttered in those regions and restaurants will be limited to takeout.

Private gatherings are prohibited and people cannot have any visitors from another address at their homes with few exceptions, like caregivers or maintenance workers.

Outdoor gatherings are forbidden, masks are mandatory for demonstrations and police have the power to hand out hefty fines to those who flout the rules.

Quebec reported 16 more deaths on Thursday and 933 new COVID-19 cases. The number of people in hospital rose by 13 to 275. Forty-six people are in intensive care. 

In Ontario, there were 538 new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday and three new deaths. There are 162 people in hospital, including 36 in intensive care. 

Nearly 40,000 tests were completed since Ontario’s last daily report, but there were still more than 82,000 samples waiting to be processed. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2020. 

The Canadian Press