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Quebec adds 584 new COVID-19 cases as new vaccination site unveiled for cyclists, drivers

Click to play video: '‘Summer of freedom’: Quebec unveils road map to reopening' ‘Summer of freedom’: Quebec unveils road map to reopening
Quebec Premier François Legault is looking forward to a 'summer of freedom' as he unveils his road map to reopening the province, which includes easing rules on face masks. Mike Armstrong reports on how Quebec got through the third wave, and when the province's curfew will be lifted – May 18, 2021

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé believes that Montreal will reopen at the same time as other regions as the province prepares to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the coming weeks.

The roadmap his government presented says the “majority” of regions should move to the orange pandemic-alert level at the end of the month, but the regions were not defined.

Dubé made the comments Wednesday as he unveiled a new vaccination site at the city’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack, which hosts the F1 Canadian Grand Prix and is popular with cyclists.

It will be open to cyclists and for drive-through vaccinations on separate weekends in May and June.

The province reported 584 new cases and eight additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus health crisis Wednesday.

Read more: Quebec to do away with curfew as province unveils COVID-19 reopening plan

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It is the third day in a row in which the daily tally of new infections is under the 600 mark — a number not seen since last September.

Authorities say one of those deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while the seven other fatalities were retroactively added to the total.

The vaccination rollout, which is open to all adults, saw another 74,310 doses given. So far, the province has administered more than 4.5 million shots since December.

As of Wednesday, about 50.5 per cent of Quebecers have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The number of pandemic-related hospitalizations fell by 18 to 466. This includes 113 patients in intensive care units, a drop of five from the previous day.

Quebec conducted 35,862 tests Monday, the most recent day for which that information is available.

Over the course of the health crisis, the province has seen a total of 364,980 cases. The death toll, which remains the highest in Canada, stands at 11,058.

Recoveries, meanwhile, have now surpassed 347,000.

More visitors allowed in LTC homes

Residents in long-term care homes and other seniors residences will be able to receive more visitors starting Friday.

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Quebec Seniors Minister Marguerite Blais, who made the announcement Wednesday, credited the improving situation and the ramping up of vaccinations as the reasons behind relaxing the measure.

The change depends on the pandemic-designated zones, however. In red zones, only one caregiver may visit a senior inside the facility but three other people can be included in outdoor activities.

In orange zones, five people will be permitted to visit an elder outdoors at the same time. Meanwhile, a client in a nursing homes located in a yellow zone is allowed to have two visitors inside the facility and see up to five people outside.

Click to play video: 'Quebec to do away with curfew as province unveils COVID-19 reopening plan' Quebec to do away with curfew as province unveils COVID-19 reopening plan
Quebec to do away with curfew as province unveils COVID-19 reopening plan – May 18, 2021

With files from The Canadian Press

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