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September 21, 2020 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second wave is here

The national director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that Québec has entered the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of cases of contamination continues to climb.

Dr. Arruda thinks that “the situation is serious and that the virus is present across Québec.” In his opinion, “if we want to have a relatively normal Christmas, people are going to have to cooperate. This is of major.”

He believes that it is “very likely” that the regions will quickly move into the red zone, which is the maximum alert level in terms of the rising curve that is sweeping across the province.

Limiting our social lives

Equally concerned about the development of the health crisis, Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault is calling on the entire population to collaborate and to make a special effort to voluntarily limit their social lives.

She reiterated the expression used by the minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, who reminded Quebecers that the uptick in cases is not a fatality, but merely a signal. “We have the power to stabilize the situation by respecting the rules and voluntarily limiting our social lives and non-essential contact in order to stop the contagion,” said the minister of Public Security.

“I know it’s not easy. But let’s not give up,” she said, calling on Quebecers to mobilize and show solidarity.

The effectiveness of wearing a mask

Dr. Arruda is not surprised by the results of a comparative study conducted by Institut national de santé publique, which shows that wearing a surgical mask or a medical-procedure mask can prevent infection. However, the study did not reveal any conclusions about the effectiveness of homemade masks.

He reiterated that the World Health Organization (WHO), like Public Health in Canada and Québec, recommends the wearing of a mask as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

Preventive visits to bars and restaurants

Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault described the preventive visits by police to bars and restaurants as a big success over the weekend. Although the objective was 1,000, police managed to visit 2,206 establishments.

Many offences were observed, such as not wearing a mask, not respecting physical distancing, drinking while standing and after permissible hours, more than 10 people at a table, overcapacity of patrons and the absence of a customer register.

In total, 1,500 warnings and verbal notices were issued by law enforcement officers.

Major whistleblowing

Deputy Premier Guilbault said that the call for citizens to report family gatherings of more than 10 people resulted in 1,129 incidents reported in one week.

As of today, the new rule in Québec is to limit private gatherings to six people or two families that can be more than six people.