At his daily COVID-19 press update, Premier François Legault, accompanied by the province's top public health officials, announced yet another increase in the number of confirmed cases in Quebec. As of Thursday, April 23, there are 21,838 cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, up 873 from the previous day. There were another 109 deaths reported, for a total of 1,243.\n93 of the new deaths come from senior residences, according to the Premier.\nAn additional 133 hospitalizations were also recorded, bringing the total to 1,411, including 207 people now in intensive care.\nHe again underlined that Quebec is split into "two worlds" when it comes to the current state of the outbreak.\nWhile it continues to ravage senior residences, he called the situation in much of the province "under control."\n"When you look at the deaths so far, 97% of the deaths are people 60 and over. So younger people are really very low risk."\nHe stressed, however, that younger people shouldn't feel immune to the virus. According to public health officials, there likely won't be a vaccine against COVID-19 for "several months, perhaps one year, or two."\nThe government is therefore moving forward with preparation for a "gradual" reopening of schools and businesses.\nOfficials will present the deconfinement plan next week.\nLegault assured that "there is nothing that will reopen next week. It's just going to be a calendar for the following weeks."\nSi la situation reste stable dans les prochains jours, on devrait pouvoir annoncer notre plan de réouverture graduelle des écoles la semaine prochaine.Je peux tout de suite vous dire que les semaines restantes du calendrier scolaire ne seront pas obligatoires. pic.twitter.com/ewGBCRU9mV— François Legault (@francoislegault) April 22, 2020\nTo even consider a return to normal, Legault said that the ideal situation would be for the population to develop a "natural immunity" to the virus.\nThe senior care system, meanwhile, is still missing 9,500 people from the workforce.\nHe acknowledged that it's a difficult situation and hopes that health care workers will be inspired to help out in any way they can.\n"I want to make an appeal today to those people there, who are at home, in some cases, completing a 14-day period after being infected: we need you. We need you."\nOn vit une période sombre, mais on ne doit pas se laisser abattre. On doit redoubler d’ardeur. On doit tout donner pour venir en aide à ceux qui s’occupent de nos personnes âgées les plus vulnérables.🎥Suivez notre point de presse en direct 👇https://t.co/LAsh4DaoyM— François Legault (@francoislegault) April 23, 2020\n"We all have personal protective equipment, and then there are clear directives that are sent everywhere so that you do not take any chances, any risk to your safety. So I'm asking you now. We need your help. The network cannot function with 9,500 people absent."\n#COVID19 - Au Québec, en date du 23 avril 2020 à 13 h, la situation est la suivante :21 838 cas confirmés158 995 analyses négatives (cas infirmés)1 411 personnes hospitalisées1 243 décèsPour en savoir plus sur la situation au Québec : https://t.co/fiqW5E4y8R— Santé Québec (@sante_qc) April 23, 2020\nThe government has extended the 4% and 8% health care salary bonus from April 30 to May 31.\nStay tuned for more news.