A new kind of Mother's Day

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A lot of moms across Canada will be missing their hugs and kisses this Mother's Day because of physical distancing rules and guidelines.

The COVID-19 pandemic will make this year's celebration of mothers unlike any other for most people, but especially those in long-term care facilities, barred from any physical contact with family members.

Many moms will be receiving the traditional messages of love and gratitude by remote means, or from the other side of glass barriers.

Federal officials issued dire warnings yesterday about the dangers to long-term care residents if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted too quickly.

Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam noted that long-term care residents account for more than 80 per cent of deaths caused by the virus across the country, despite making up only one in five cases. And she said stricter measures ``may have to be reinstated'' if controls ease up too soon.

During his daily briefing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was ``very worried'' about residents of Montreal, the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, as Quebec prepares to loosen confinement measures despite a rash of fatal outbreaks at nursing homes.

Quebec's public health institute has warned that deaths could soar to 150 a day in the greater Montreal area if physical distancing measures are lifted. And new cases could balloon to 10,000 by June amid a potential surge in hospitalizations.

Canada's coronavirus case count climbed past 67,000 on Saturday, with Quebecers making up more than half of the total cases.