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Legault calls the situation ‘critical’ as Quebec raises the level of preparedness in 4 regions



With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Quebec Prime Minister Franois Legault issued a sobering warning to the public, saying social gatherings should be restricted “as much as possible” to avoid closing schools and businesses.

“The situation is critical. It’s worrying and we have to act now,” he told a news conference on Tuesday.

“There is a real danger of a second wave.”

The grim message came as Quebec recorded more than 200 cases for six consecutive days, with 291 on Tuesday.

The province has a seven-day moving average of 28 cases per million inhabitants, far exceeding the 20 cases per million of public health set as the threshold last month.

Legault reported that four regions classified as green under Quebec Montreal color-coded alarm system Montreal, Montrgie, Lower Saint-Lawrence and Chaudire-Appalaches were moved to the yellow level under the provincial regional alarm system.

WATCH | Legault calls on the public to restrict rallies:

Quebec has unveiled a new, color-coded, COVID-19, alarm system. Here’s how it works. 2:11

Quebec City, Eastern Townships, Outaouais region and Laval are already defined as yellow. Below that alarm level, activities are still allowed in accordance with health rules, with increased enforcement and possible fines to ensure they are followed.

Several regions, including Quebec City and the Lower Saint-Lawrence Regions, are being closely watched and could move to the orange level or “moderate alarm” next week, sources told Radio Canada.

Health Minister Christian Dub said this would mean new restrictions, including the possible closure of premises and reducing the number of people allowed in private gatherings from 10 to six.

For the time being, however, Dub limited the new restrictions on closing the kitchen service to bars after midnight.

People will now be required to wear masks in private nursing homes, known as the RPA.

“RVPs for me, this is our next problem if we are not careful,” Dubsaid said.

The alarm level of a region is based on three criteria: the epidemiological situation, the rate of transmission and the capacity of the health care system in the region.

Fragile system

Dub was visibly disappointed as he pointed out some of the outbreaks that have contributed to the resurgence of the virus.

Among the sources: a hairdresser in Chaudire-Appalaches who was sticky but continued to work, serving 15 clients in six different locations, including a private nursing home and a long-term care home.

(Duboriginally said she was aware she was contagious, but later walked back warning.)

In Montrgie, he said, the gathering of 17 people in a restaurant resulted in 31 confirmed cases. Hundreds more will need to be monitored.

“We will have to check 330 customers who were registered in that restaurant register,” he said. “Imagine the workload for people in public health to contact all of these people.”

Dub also reported that a corn roast in St. Lawrence Lower Lawrence resulted in 30 cases.

“Our healthcare system is already fragile,” he said. “And every time we have a new case, or that we have to work with public health, or that this person may one day go to a clinic or hospital, this is the healthcare staff we are using and that we could have avoid “

Most of the recent eruptions are outside Montreal, in regions that escaped the worst cases of the spring tide.

Quebec City recorded 60 cases Monday, more than on any other day since the pandemic began.

The 29 cases reported in Lower Saint-Lawrence on September 12 were far more than were recorded on any other day during the pandemic.

In that region, new cases reported in each of the last five days were all higher than on any day during the spring wave, the previous maximum, in two cases in early April, was five new cases.

Despite the increase in cases, the number of hospitalizations and deaths remains slow compared to figures reported in the spring, when more than 100 people were reported dead on a daily basis as the virus destroyed long-term care homes in the province.

By Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health in Quebec, warned that these figures could drag on in the coming weeks and months.

He said that historically, the second wave of a pandemic tends to be much worse than the first.

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