François Legault announced at his daily press update on March 27 that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec has reached 2,021, up 392 from the previous day. There were also 10 new deaths, bringing the total to 18. 141 people have been hospitalized.

Overnight, seven more people were sent to intensive care. Legault once again appealed to Quebecers to stay home as much as possible and take all the recommended precautions.

"We're entering a new phase in our battle against the virus," said the Premier. He also highlighted two regions, Estrie and Montreal, as the areas with the most cases in Quebec. 

As of Friday, the Montreal region (which includes the metropolis and on-island suburbs) accounts for almost half of the total cases in the province, with 971 confirmed infections.

Legault asked people to avoid visiting those areas but said that he isn't prepared to close off the regions to travel.

On Thursday, Legault said that "it is not an exaggeration to say that we are currently living the greatest battle of our collective life in Quebec. We are capable, we will win this battle, but to win this battle, we must follow the battle plan." 

The Government of Quebec will release the figures on testing and the results of those who are under investigation on Saturday. 

The Premier also underscored the need for volunteers.

After the government launched a new website where prospective volunteers can find the organizations in most need of their skills, thousands enlisted to help, he said.

All non-essential businesses in Quebec are closed until April 13 in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

In light of this measure and similar steps across Canada, the federal government on Friday announced that it would cover 75% of wages for small and medium-sized businesses across the country.

The provincial and federal governments have also announced emergency financial aid for people whose jobs have been impacted by the crisis.

Stay tuned for more news.

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