Montreal – Quebec is tightening three regions in the province by increasing restrictions on all types of gatherings, including those in private homes, as coronavirus cases increase.
Health Minister Christian Dube announced in a rare press conference on Sunday that Montreal, Chaudyear-Appalach and parts of Quebec City are advancing one level, to orange, in the COVID-19 alert system in Quebec.
“Unfortunately, the infection is spreading in three regions,” he said. “The number of cases is increasing … and our ability to care for patients is diminishing.”
The rules for the orange regions are also clarified. Moving from the yellow level (early warning) to the orange level means that the number of people allowed in social gatherings of all kinds will be reduced, as of 12:01 am on Monday.
In private homes, a maximum of six people are permitted – except that more people can be present as long as they belong to no more than two families, and that each family lives together in a house.
Dobby said that in public places, in the orange areas, gatherings like barbecues and weddings are limited to 25 people. This includes places of worship.
Dobby said bars and restaurants will also face capacity and business hours restrictions in orange areas: In restaurants, there is a limit of six people per table, and the last call to bars will now be at 11 p.m., with the midnight closing time, Dubi said.
They said the province is not reinstating restrictions on regional travel, but that the authorities want to discourage people who live in the orange areas from traveling to the yellow or green areas.
Dubi has also not encouraged people to get COVID-19 tests unless they are showing symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are asked by health professionals to do so. Otherwise, the test system will quickly get confused.
Parts of two other regions – Lanaudiere and Laurentides – have gone from green to yellow. Other areas already outlined in yellow will still be yellow.
In yellow areas, the boundary of outdoor agglomerations has also been changed. It is now 50, down from 250.
Dobby said there will be an update on Monday regarding the enforcement of the COVID-19 rules for private homes.
“We are working very hard on that, as there are many legal cases,” he said.
There will also be new restrictions on nursing home visits, and that will be explained in more detail on Monday, Dubey said.
But Duby said there is good news for children and teens: Sports will continue after school with the same “bubble” rules currently in place.
“We must not give up,” he said. “I know it’s tough, on a Sunday afternoon, to get that kind of news … but I think we can make a difference over the next few weeks.”
On Twitter, Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault wrote that infections were increasing at an “alarming rate” and urged people not only to follow the rules, but to reduce contacts to a minimum.
“We must make an effort … to avoid having dinner with family or friends,” he wrote on Twitter.
Legault did not attend the press conference as he was self-isolating at home until September 28 after being exposed to a COVID-19 carrier – Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who met Legault last Monday and has since tested positive. Virus.
Cases in most parts of Quebec have grown very rapidly in the past week.
Quebec public health authorities announced Sunday that there were 160 new cases of COVID-19 on Montreal Island over the past 24 hours (31,309 total), another 92 in Quebec City (2,969 total) and another 19 in Chaudiere-Appalaches. (907 total).
The sudden rise in positive cases comes in Quebec where testing has nearly doubled in recent months.
On June 17, for example, 9,870 people were tested, and by July 17, the number was up to 13499. Health officials announced that 15,794 samples had been analyzed on August 17, and officials announced yesterday that 2,9079 samples had been analyzed on September 17.
(Quebec releases its test data two days before its daily update.)
This is a developing story that will be updated.
Below is a diagram of the Quebec Alert and Regional Intervention System.