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The reopening of nonessential businesses and the return to school are delayed by an additional week in Greater Montreal.

The reopening of nonessential businesses and the return to school are delayed by an additional week in Greater Montreal.
/ Emilie Nadeau

After being absent from yesterday's press conference, Premier François Legault is back to share the most recent developments in the fight against the coronavirus in Quebec. As usual, he is accompanied by the National Director of Public Health, Dr Horacio Arruda. This time, the President of the Treasury Board, Christian Dubé, completes the government trio.

The most recent assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province. As of today there are 2,631 deaths in Quebec. There are 35,238 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 1,836 people are in the hospital, including 224 whom are in intensive care.

Legault, announces that they will postpone the opening of schools and nonessential businesses in Greater Montreal until May 25 and only open on May 25, "if, and only if, the situation improves.

He explained that the contagion is not yet sufficiently controlled in Greater Montreal and stressed that the region still lacks hospital staff to deal with a possible increase in cases.

“We have 1,000 beds available in the greater Montreal region. The problem we have is that we don't have the staff for these beds, "said Mr. Legault. "If tomorrow morning there was an increase in the spread in the Greater Montreal area, we would not have all the personnel to deal with this increase."

There are now 11,600 workers missing the health care industry 
because employees are sick, "at risk" or fear they will be infected with COVID-19, and of those who go to work, 50% are part-time. Earlier this week, Premier Legault indicated that Minister Dubé was given the mandate to establish new salary bonuses to encourage people to come and help health care workers. Any employees that work in CHSLDs, seniors' residences and hospitals affected by COVID-19  full-time will therefore earn up to $ 1,000 more per month. The President of the Conseil du trésor, Christian Dubé, said he hoped that this measure would improve staff retention, as well as encourage full-time employees.

The incentive bonus will be offered for the recruitment of full-time workers. For four weeks at the rate of 36.25 hours per week, it may reach $ 1,000. "It’s still interesting. For a beneficiary attendant, it's about 30% of the salary, " said Legault

Since the start of the pandemic, Quebec has already offered premiums of 4% and 8% to health care workers. However, the number of health workers absent due to isolation or illness continues to increase. 

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