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Quebec tightening COVID-19 restrictions as 3 regions put on red alert – CBC.ca

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Residents in three Quebec regions won’t be allowed to visit friends or family at home for most of October or eat out at their favourite restaurant as the provincial government struggles to slow the surge of new coronavirus cases.

Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions are now considered red zones under the province’s COVID-19 alert system, Quebec Premier François Legault said Monday.

“I’m a bit heavy-hearted today,” Legault said during a late afternoon news conference.

“We looked at the results over the weekend, and the number of cases has gone up significantly.”

This rise in cases could lead to an increase of hospitalizations and deaths, he said, and the government must act quickly in the interest of all Quebecers.

“We need to make some difficult decisions,” Legault said.

The new restrictions, announced after Quebec reported 750 new coronavirus cases, take effect 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday and are set to last for 28 days, until Oct. 28, in the red zones. The restrictions are: 

  • A ban on home gatherings, with some exceptions, such as a single caregiver allowed per visit.
  • All bars, casinos and restaurants are closed (takeout only).
  • Libraries, museums, cinemas and theatres will also be closed.
  • Being less than two metres apart will be prohibited. Masks will be mandatory during demonstrations.
  • Houses of worship and venues for events, such as funerals and weddings, will have a 25-person limit.
  • Hair salons, hotels and other such businesses will stay open.
  • Schools will remain open.

“Schools must remain open,” Legault said. “Businesses are open so parents can continue to work and earn money.”

Though people are generally following the public health guidelines, Legault said many are not and he showed frustration toward those who are throwing caution to the wind.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “We are not putting measures in place just for fun. We are putting measures in place to protect others.

WATCH | Legault announces new measures:

Further restrictions in these regions start October 1. 2:55

Legault said the government is working on compensation packages for those businesses that are being shut down by the pandemic, though he declined to go into detail about those packages.

The government is enacting the restrictions as of Thursday to give the owners of businesses that will be closed time to prepare, he said.

The government could restrict travel between regions as was done in the spring under public health guidelines, but for now it won’t be banned. 

However, travel between different regions of the province is strongly discouraged, Legault said.

Legault making right decision, specialist says

The government has been urging people to stop socializing for a month in order to slow the spread of the virus. Now that it is prohibited to gather in homes, Legault said the Public Security Ministry is now exploring how the regulation will be enforced.

Dr. Cécile Tremblay, an infectious disease specialist at the Université de Montréal hospital, said the government is making the right decision.

“People can get a serious illness even if they are young,” she said. “People can die even if they are young.”

WATCH | Infectious disease specialist explains why Quebec is so hard hit:

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Cécile Tremblay discusses how we got there and what it means. 1:52

She said the extent of long-term damage COVID-19 is causing to the heart, lungs and other organs is still not known and that it is important that everybody, including young people, does their part to prevent the spread of the disease.

Shutting down for 28 days is a good start, but it’s hard to say how effective it will be, Tremblay said. Strict health measures have prevented transmission in other countries, she said, but it all depends on how well the population respects the rules.

The hope is to limit the impact on the health-care network, especially with the cold and flu season upon us, she said.

Cases on the rise in Quebec

Quebec reported 750 new cases on Monday, 245 of which were on the island of Montreal. The Quebec City area, which had few cases during the first wave in the spring, had another 125 cases.

Quebec City and its immediate environs have emerged as a second epicentre of the fall coronavirus wave.

Taken together, the Capitale-Nationale region and Chaudière-Appalaches added more than 1,000 cases from Sept. 20-27.

Infection rates also continued to tick upward in the Eastern Townships, the Mauricie, the Gaspé Peninsula and Lanaudière.

Many regions have set new single-day records for COVID-19 cases; in the cases of Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches, they have tended to be superseded a short time later.

As Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume said succinctly last week: “The virus is among us.”

Hospitalizations are still manageable, but that could still change, according to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious disease specialist at the Jewish General Hospital.

He said the gradual increase in cases throughout September is similar to what happened in the spring. Because it takes several days for people to develop symptoms severe enough to seek medical care, he explained, it leads to an avalanche of new patients down the road.

WATCH | COVID-19 surge forces new lockdown in Quebec:

With surging COVID-19 cases, three areas of Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City, will become “red zones” on Thursday for 28 days, meaning bars and theatres will close and restaurants will revert to take-out only. 2:03

“It is quite clear we are going to see this wave of hospitalizations increase and likely accelerate,” he said. “It’s a little discouraging to see we are going through the same process again.”

Quebec’s Health Ministry reported Monday there were already more than 5,000 health-care workers in the Montreal hospital network on leave. 

“The rise in new cases is not simply because of an increase in the number of tests,” said Dr. Donald Vinh, a microbiologist at the McGill University Health Centre. 

“It’s that the tests are becoming positive more often. That’s what worries us.” 

So far, there has been a total of 1,163 cases in 489 schools in Quebec. There are more than 3,000 public and private schools across the province, with more than than one million students and 226,000 staff.

Neighbouring Ontario has also seen a resurgence of the virus. The province reported more than 700 cases today, the most on a single day since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 1,163 COVID-19 cases in 489 schools in Quebec so far this year, but public health says schools are not a driver of transmission. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – CKOM News Talk Sports

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

8:15 p.m.

Yukon says it has three new cases of COVID-19 with all the infections in Watson Lake.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley says this is the fourth incidence of infection in a rural community.

The cases bring the territory’s total number of infections to 20 people.

7:15 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, tipping the number of active infections over 2,000.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in a statement contact tracing teams throughout B.C. are working around the clock.

But she says their success depends on everyone doing their part and taking a step back from social interactions.

There have been two new community outbreaks, one at a hot tub and spa manufacturing company and one at a food processing business in Langley.

Seventy-five people are in hospital, including 24 in intensive care, but no one else has died from the illness since the province’s last update.

2 p.m.

Quebec’s deputy premier has a dire warning for those living in the provincial capital and the neighbouring Chaudiere-Appalaches region amid a rising number of cases of COVID-19.

Genevieve Guilbault says people haven’t been following public health guidelines, resulting in a spike of cases in the two regions that could threaten the ability to provide medical treatment if it’s not brought under control.

Both regions were largely spared during the first wave, but Guilbault says in Chaudiere-Appalaches, there have been four times more cases and five times more deaths this time.

The Quebec City region holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of active cases per 100,000 population in the province.

Guilbault was joined by the mayors of Levis and Quebec City, urging the population to limit their contacts and follow public health guidelines.

1:50 p.m.

A man in his 80s is the latest death linked to the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in a Manitoba care home.

There has been a total of 15 deaths at the Parkview Place care home in Winnipeg.

There were 163 new infections Friday, the vast majority in the capital city.

Winnipeg went weeks without any new infections over the summer, but case numbers have risen rapidly in the last two months.

A total of 33 cases have now also been connected to a poultry plant in Blumenort, southeast of Winnipeg, and the company says one employee has died.

Quebec-based company Exceldor, which owns the plant, says an investigation is ongoing to see whether the death of the 42-year-old man is related to his COVID-19 infection.

1:15 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is asking passengers who travelled on Air Canada Flight 7484 from Toronto to Deer Lake on Oct. 12 to call 811 to arrange for a test.

Health officials say the request for testing is being made out of an abundance of caution.

The request stems from a new case of COVID-19 announced Thursday affecting a man between 20 and 39 years old who returned to the province from work in Alberta.

On Thursday, officials said the man was self-isolating and contact tracing was still underway.

1:05 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting two new cases of COVID-19.

Both are in the Campbellton region, which is one of two areas in the province that were hit by significant outbreaks of novel coronavirus two weeks ago.

Health officials say the two new cases involve a person 40 to 49 years old and a person between 70 and 79 — both are self-isolating.

There are currently 75 active cases in a province that has confirmed 324 overall cases, while 245 people have recovered and four people have died.

11:50 a.m.

Canada saw a record high number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed yesterday, with 2,788 new illnesses recorded.

In an Ottawa news conference, Canada’s chief public health officer is calling, again, for Canadians to reduce their contacts with other people, wear masks and follow hygiene protocols.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the longer we wait to curb the spread of COVID-19, the harder it will be to contain.

____

11:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is spending $214 million to produce potential COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

That includes a deal with Quebec’s Medicago and one with British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems, both of which are working on potential vaccines.

Trudeau says the Medicago agreement includes the rights to buy up to 76 million doses of its vaccine, if it proves safe and effective, and funding for a factory in Quebec City to produce them.

The prime minister also says Canada has received “hundreds of thousands” of test kits from medical company Abbott to be distributed to the provinces and territories.

____

11:20 a.m.

Two more vaccine makers have asked Health Canada to study their product before it has completed clinical trials. 

Both Moderna and Pfizer applied to Health Canada on Oct. 12 to have their vaccine candidates studied by the regulator.

Health Canada is trying to review the vaccines at the same time they are undergoing final clinical tests so they can be approved for use here as quickly as possible. 

AstraZeneca applied for its vaccine candidate on Oct. 1.

All three vaccine candidates are among the ones Canada will get access to if they are deemed safe and effective.

____

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Authorities said today four COVID-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations dropped by 13 compared with the prior day, for a total of 540.

The province has reported a total of 98,226 COVID-19 infections and 6,106 deaths linked to the virus.

___

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 826 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 292 cases are in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, and 72 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 40,019 tests since the last daily report, with another 35,436 being processed.

In total, 276 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.

___

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – NEWS 1130 – News 1130

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Authorities said today four COVID-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations dropped by 13 compared with the prior day, for a total of 540.

The province has reported a total of 98,226 COVID-19 infections and 6,106 deaths linked to the virus.

___

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 826 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 292 cases are in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, and 72 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 40,019 tests since the last daily report, with another 35,436 being processed.

In total, 276 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.

___

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – CityNews Toronto

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

11:20 a.m.

Two more vaccine makers have asked Health Canada to study their product before it has completed clinical trials. 

Both Moderna and Pfizer applied to Health Canada on Oct. 12 to have their vaccine candidates studied by the regulator.

Health Canada is trying to review the vaccines at the same time they are undergoing final clinical tests so they can be approved for use here as quickly as possible. 

AstraZeneca applied for its vaccine candidate on Oct. 1.

All three vaccine candidates are among the ones Canada will get access to if they are deemed safe and effective.

____

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Authorities said today four COVID-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations dropped by 13 compared with the prior day, for a total of 540.

The province has reported a total of 98,226 COVID-19 infections and 6,106 deaths linked to the virus.

___

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 826 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 292 cases are in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, and 72 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 40,019 tests since the last daily report, with another 35,436 being processed.

In total, 276 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.

___

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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