At a press conference Wednesday, Premier François Legault shared news of the first COVID-19 death in Quebec. He further announced that the number of confirmed cases in the province had risen to 94, more than double what it was three days ago on March 15. The province has increased its testing capacity, allowing healthcare professionals to screen more people more quickly for the novel coronavirus.
The individual who passed away was elderly and lived in the Lanaudière region, the Premier said.
In addition to the 94 confirmed cases, 3,627 people are under investigation and 5,213 people tested negative, according to a Twitter post from Santé Québec.
"I want to tell all Quebecers that I understand that there's a lot of anxiety in our society right now," Legault continued.
But he reassures that "the healthcare network is ready. We have right now only six people that need to be in our hospitals, and we have already 2,300 beds that are waiting in case we need to use them for the coronavirus."
"So, right now, we're ready, we have all the equipment."
The governments of Canada and Quebec have recommended that residents practice social distancing and stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.
In Quebec, people who are unable to work from home can apply to receive compensation from the government.
And despite extensive preparations, the Quebec healthcare system may still be feeling the strain.
The government previously put out a call for anyone with medical experience or training to sign up and assist with healthcare efforts.
Quebec health officials released guidelines for individuals to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province, you can read about them.
More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.