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September 24, 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.

Limiting social gatherings

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, called on Quebecers to limit their social contacts as much as possible, because gatherings with friends and family are leading to outbreaks of the virus.

The director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, specified that after closely following the health guidelines imposed in the spring, by the time summer arrived Quebecers were tired of them and much slacker in applying them.

However, this slackening is not occurring in public and commercial establishments, but rather in private spaces. This means that people can go to restaurants, for example, but they should not be inviting their friends into their family or work bubble.

Minister Dubé called on people to not gather for Thanksgiving in order to make it possible to see each other at Christmas.

An impact on all levels

Christian Dubé stated that if citizens do not change their habits, the impact will be negative for every level of society, that is, economically and socially as well as in terms of health and education.

The minister stressed that the news is not good. The introduction of colour-coded alert levels, the outbreaks and the recently announced restrictions are all pointing in the same direction: “I’m not telling you that things are fine.”

Serious repercussions

An estimated 5,000 people were not able to receive a diagnosis for the cancer they came down with during the pandemic. This is one of the serious consequences of the government having had to reallocate resources to respond to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to ensure that there were enough beds and physicians to cope with the crisis.