MONTREAL — The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec continues to decline as the province prepares to resume several activities on Monday.
The province has 51,059 confirmed cases, but authorities said just 408 new cases were reported Sunday, numbers not seen since late March.
While the province reported 202 additional deaths — only 37 were reported in the past 24 hours.
Authorities say the other 165 deaths — all from the hard-hit Montreal region — date back several days and weren't counted due to a data transmission snafu.
The number of COVID-19 deaths stands at 4,641, while 16,346 people have recovered.
Montreal has accounted for half of the province's novel coronavirus cases and more than 60 per cent of the deaths with 2,919.
Across the province, hospitalizations stood at 1,198, with 171 in intensive care.
Premier Francois Legault will be in Montreal for his briefing Monday as daycares in the region are expected to reopen with reduced capacity.
Elsewhere in Quebec, shopping centres, hair salons, estheticians and tattoo parlours will be permitted to reopen.
Provincial courthouses are also set to gradually reopen across the province on Monday.
Justice Minister Sonia LeBel said last week the pandemic has sped up the digital transformation of the justice system, which has used virtual courtrooms during the pandemic. Physical courtrooms will have reduced seating to allow for physical distancing and Plexiglas to protect clerks and judges.
Also Sunday, Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge announced Sunday the province will free up $150 million for school districts to stock up on technological and digital equipment.
Even though the scenarios to be presented to public health officials soon involve a return to class, Roberge said in a statement the province needs to be ready for any eventuality next fall in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
The need is there — according to data gathered by the Education Department in the spring, the province estimates that 80,000 students don't have access to a device to allow for distance learning.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2020.
The Canadian Press