Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante implored Montrealers to continue to wear masks, practice hand-washing and two-metre social distancing during a Wednesday meeting with the city's executive committee, as Montreal saw 97 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours. The mayor asked Montrealers to "double down" on their vigilance in response to rising concerns about anti-maskers in light of a protest in Montreal earlier this week.
"We should disregard those who believe this virus doesn't exist or that we shouldn't take it seriously," she said.
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The province's death toll rose to 5,788 after announcing two COVID-related deaths between September 9 and 14, as well as one in the 24 hours prior to this morning's report. There have been 65,857 confirmed cases as of September 15.
The mayor also expressed concern about the state of Montreal's economy, which took a significant hit at the height of the crisis.
Small, local businesses have closed as a result of first-wave quarantining and Mayor Plante said a second wave would prove "fatal" to the city's economic state.
In Assomption, Premier Legault said in a press conference Wednesday that there is a risk of school and business closures if a second wave of the virus begins to emerge.
"There's a real risk of death. There's a real risk that we need to close schools [and] companies."
He also said that new cases are the result of transmission in homes, where families, roommates and friends are less vigilant with social distancing measures.
#COVID19 - Au Québec, la situation est la suivante: 22 568 prélèvements effectués le 14 sept. 21 146 analyses réali… https://t.co/65PwfdkV1I— Santé Québec (@Santé Québec) 1600268638.0
"The vast majority of new cases are coming from transmission in houses [...] There's [only] so much we can do in public places because right now the problem is at home."
Mayor Plante echoed his statement, saying that gatherings of up to 10 people — mandated by the provincial government — should continue to respect social distancing measures and practice regular hand-washing.
96 nouveaux cas à Montréal. Une hausse qui se voit jour après jour. C’est trop. Je nous demande à toutes et tous de… https://t.co/1mGENZDYMz— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1600185365.0
"It's part of human nature to want to [...] greet each other warmly when we see each other among friends," she said.
"But if we have friends over for supper, we need to continue keeping our distance."
"You need to make two plates of dip, because it is not the time to drop your guard."
On Tuesday, Quebec upgraded Montreal to "yellow pre-alert" according to the provincial COVID-19 alert system.