The situation in Montreal remains stable but worrying
The provincial government updated Quebecers about the current COVID-19 situation in the province, at their weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Premier François Legault was stern with Quebecers underling that the situation remained worrying. “The situation is serious and could continue to worsen,” said the Premier.
Situation in Montreal
Legault said that the regions of Montreal and Laval remained under close surveillance. “The number of cases is high but it’s stable,” he said, adding that current measures were being left in place to prevent a potential surge in cases.
The number of newly reported cases in the Montreal region has remained stable, ranging between 300 to 400 a day, according to government statistics.
The government will therefore allow non-essential businesses to stay open and also allow schools to remain open. The 8 PM to 5 AM curfew on the Island of Montreal and Laval will also remain in place.
The premier nonetheless cautioned residents that if cases rose measures would change. “It’s not impossible that within the next few weeks dense regions like Montreal and Laval will have to go further,” he said.
The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension has continued to report higher than average new cases.
Quebec City reminded all citizens of the importance of wearing masks while outdoors and doing sports activities with others.
“Mask outside are obligatory,” said the Premier, stating that the new COVID-19 variants had higher contagion rates.
The government nonetheless cited two exceptions to this rule. These include when someone is outside on their own or with people from their bubble or when they are having a picnic, given they respect social distancing and a maximum of 8 people.
These rules have attracted a certain degree of controversy, as during the press conference national director of public health Dr. Horacio Arruda did not cite any scientific evidence to back up these rules.
Across the province
The government has also extended emergency measures in Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches and the Outaouais until Apr. 25, three regions that they continue to monitor very closely.
This in addition to adding the outlying areas of these regions to the emergency rules, making them subject to the closure of all non-essential businesses, the closure of schools and the imposition of an 8 PM curfew.
The premier also said that the region of Côte-Nord would be switching from a yellow zone to an orange zone, due to a substantial increase in reported cases.
“The situation is fragile everywhere in Quebec, said Legault, adding that “with the variant, no region is immune, everyone must stay very careful.”
Message to young people
With a growing number of young people catching the virus and being sent to hospital, the government made it very clear in their update that the focus was now on that age group.
“I understand what you’re going through,” said Legault in his message, “I know how important social life and friends can be at your age.”
“We must recognize the efforts you have made in the past year,” he added but reminded young adults that the measures were now for their protection and health. “There are young adults that are going to the hospital and are having serious consequences,” he said.
The government stated that the majority of new cases and hospitalizations are now people under the age of 60, adding that this was in absolute numbers. More young people are getting sick.
2 million vaccinated
These announcements come the same week that Quebec achieved the milestone of vaccinating a total of over 2 million people. That accounts for approximately 24.3% of the total population.
The government remains confident they will still be able to attain their objective of giving a first dose to anyone who wants one by Jun. 24. Nonetheless, Premier Legault also stated that the evolution of variants changed the calculus of how life was going to go back to normal.
He cautioned Quebecers that Jun 24., 70 days from now, would not mean a complete reopening but rather the start of normalcy.
As of Apr. 14, the province has seen 1,559 new cases and 7 new deaths. This is in addition to a net increase of 17 hospitalizations, bringing the total number of active hospitalizations to 660. 152 of those people are in intensive care.
68,192 doses of vaccine had been administered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,075,808. Vaccination efforts are said to be going smoothly and have so far been on target of 60,000 to 70,000 daily inoculations.