Coronavirus: Quebec deaths climb by 82, health-care whistleblower email announced

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Quebec Premier vows to fix long-term care homes in the province' Coronavirus: Quebec Premier vows to fix long-term care homes in the province
WATCH: Quebec premier vows to fix long-term care homes in the province – May 15, 2020

The Quebec government said it created a new email address where health-care workers can confidentially share what is happening on the ground during the COVID-19 crisis.

Health Minister Danielle McCann announced the new anonymous tip address,, in a press release on Saturday which said it will allow health workers to raise issues to the government’s attention.

On Saturday, Quebec saw 82 more COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, bringing the death toll for the province to 3,483.

READ MORE: Provinces slowly reopen as Quebec surpasses 40,000 coronavirus cases

On Friday, McCann acknowledged that there was still a sort of code of silence preventing health-care workers from speaking to media. She said she however “lifted the omerta” code on May 1. McCann said she would soon announce a new avenue for health sector staff to voice their concerns and experiences.

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In the press release, the health minister assured that all communication with the email address will remain confidential.

“I invite [health-care workers] to not hesitate to inform us of their experiences so that we can respond more effectively to the needs of Quebecers,” McCann said.

As of Saturday, Quebec has 42,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,763 in hospital, including 179 in intensive care. Meanwhile, 3,010 people are under investigation and 11,458 have recovered from the novel coronavirus. So far 282,551 people have tested negative for the virus in Quebec.

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Montreal remains the epicentre of the province’s COVID-19 outbreak, accounting for 21,410 — over half — of the province’s total confirmed cases. On Saturday the city said it was extending its state of emergency until May 21.

Quebec to provide 1 million masks to hard-hit Montreal to contain the spread of COVID-19

On Friday the Quebec government announced its plan to donate one million masks to hard-hit Montreal.

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Premier François Legault said public transit authorities in the Greater Montreal area will also receive $6 million so they can buy masks and hand them out for free to commuters.

Masks aren’t mandatory, but Legault stressed that people should wear them while taking public transit. He added that people in neighbourhoods with high infection rates should also wear masks when leaving their home altogether.

–With files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Kalina Laframboise

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Mixed messages about mandatory face masks' COVID-19: Mixed messages about mandatory face masks
COVID-19: Mixed messages about mandatory face masks – May 15, 2020

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