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COVID-19 Update – March 29: Three testing centres in the Montérégie West

Quebec premier François Legault updated the province during his regular update on Sunday, March 29, to announce a further 342 individuals had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus to bring the total number of Quebecers infected to 2,840, including 257 people in the Montérégie region. The Premier had no new deaths to report, however the number of those hospitalized with the virus rose to 192, with 72 being treated in intensive care units. A total of 58,000 tests for the virus have now been done in the province.

Three testing sites have now been set up in the Montérégie West region. A drive-thru test centre was opened last Wednesday in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, to compliment testcentres already operating in Chateauguay and Vaudreuil-Dorion. The Valleyfield test centre is open from 9 am to 5 pm, while the two other sites are open from 8 am to 8 pm. All test centres can only be accessed by appointment only. If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call 450-644-4545 or toll free 1-877-644-4545.

The total number of cases of COVID-19 in Canada has now risen to 6,243 and the federal government is now considering the general risk level for Canadians to be high, despite the fact risk levels will vary between and within communities.

Non-essential travel forbidden

All non-essential travel has been forbidden throughout the province of Quebec, and this weekend Premier Legault announced travel to and from eight regions of Quebec that are more isolated and home to vulnerable populations would now be restricted. Roadblocks have been established on major roads leading to the Bas-St-Laurent, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Gaspesie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Nunavik and Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James.

The Canada-USA border remains closed for all non-essential travel. The government announced on Saturday that there would now be a provincial police presence at border crossing points in Quebec to clamp down on those crossing back into Canada and flouting the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Police will ensure travellers are aware of the rules regarding the 14-day quarantine period, specifically that they are not to leave their home for any reason other than to go to a testing centre should they start to show symptoms. Officers are also collecting information on those crossing which will allow officials to follow up and ensure all rules are being respected. Those not respecting the quarantine regulation can face steep fines and even possible jail time.

More help to CHSLD and Residences

Quebecers are to avoid visits to hospitals and are no longer allowed access to CHSLD and seniors residences. A significant number of the cases reported across the country have been tied to seniors residences, and as such the provincial government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of the virus to residents, and to protect personnel and all those who still need to access these buildings to make deliveries. Outings by residents are still allowed but only under supervision.

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