An SPVM spokesperson confirmed to MTL Blog that two Montreal police officers have tested positive for COVID-19. They had recently returned from trips abroad and are now in isolation. The two individuals join another 100 who are in their own unrelated quarantines after travelling.

The news comes as the police service declares a local state of emergency and begins enforcing a new provincial ban on almost all public gatherings, with exceptions for those that "bring together occupants of a private residence," people that are required to go to work, and public services. 

In each of these situations, strict two-metre social distancing rules are still in place.

According to the SPVM, "specialized teams have been assigned to support the efforts of patrol officers to ensure respect and understanding of measures to protect the health of the population."

Police will now issue fines as high as $1,000 for those who violate the new social distancing rules.

According to reports, some 200 notices and calls of ill-advised public gatherings in Montreal were fielded by SPVM officers over the weekend. 

The measures are in place to limit the spread of coronavirus in the province.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Quebec jumped to 628 on Monday, with 265 found in the Montreal region.

The large increase is largely due to a change in the definition of "confirmed cases," which now counts positive tests at hospitals without additional confirmation from the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec (LSPQ).

Premier François Legault stated that "this is the time to show the determination, solidarity and courage that we Quebecers are capable of. We must all follow public health guidelines."


READ ALSO: Montrealers Can Now Be Fined $1,000 For Breaking New Social Distancing Rules

Below are the number of cases in Quebec by region.

All non-essential businesses in the province are closed until April 13.

School will not resume until May 1.

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 here.

More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.

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