UPDATED ON 04/05/2020 at 9:18 p.m.

According to the Québec health ministry, there were 7,944 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province on Sunday, April 5.

Most of the cases are in Montréal and the Eastern Townships.  In the Laurentides region, which includes the MRC d’Argenteuil, there are eight confirmed cases.  Mirabel, MRC Les Pays d’en Haut, MRC Rivière-du-Nord, and MRC Deux Montagnes, compose the rest of the region, which has 408 cases in total.

There are 109 cases in the Outaouais Region, which includes MRC Papineau and the city of Gatineau.

In Montérégie, which includes the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges, there are 806 confirmed cases.

Across Québec on Sunday, 525 people were in hospital, and 154 of them were in intensive care due to COVID-19.  There have been 94 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 in Québec.

On Sunday, Premier François Legault that all non-essential businesses and commercial activities in Québec would remain closed until May 4.

Even though Québec has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, Legault proudly referred to a study published by Google showing that Québec has the best rate of respect for physical distancing in North America.  The health ministry’s website explains that the high level of confirmed cases is due to an expedited testing process adopted in late March that makes confirmed, positive results available more quickly.

On Friday, the regional health authority CISSS des Laurentides announced that some units at the hospital in St-Jérôme are being converted to accommodate patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and require hospitalization.  The facility has been designated as one of the level three care centres for the Laurentides region.  However, approval is still needed from the health ministry and COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization will still be admitted to other facilities until approval for St-Jérôme is granted.

On Thursday, Premier François Legault told Québec residents to stay home, and if they do have to travel, to stay within the region where they live.  Police checkpoints have been set up at various times to control travel outside of harder-hit regions of Québec into less-affected ones.

The Premier also emphasized that the health care system is prepared and that manufacturers in Québec are prepared to meet the increased demand for protective equipment for health care workers.

There are presently two COVID-19 testing clinics in the MRC d’Argenteuil.  They are only for those who have symptoms.  One of them is in Lachute at 145 avenue de la Providence, which is at the rear of the hospital complex.  Testing is by appointment only.  To book an appointment, call 450-562-3761, extension 72360 between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., Monday to Friday.  The second testing facility is in Mille-Isles and is also by appointment only.  To make an appointment there, call 1-877-644-4545.