Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, said on Monday that he is “very, very, very” concerned” about the rise in cases in the province, after 586 new patients were identified.
Due to the rise in cases over recent weeks, Arruda believes Quebec is now in the next stage of its COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in the second wave, at the beginning” said Arruda in French on Monday. “The situation is serious. The situation is serious everywhere in Quebec.”
The 586 cases are the most in a 24-hour stretch since 641 cases were announced May 27. It’s also now the 10th straight day that it has reported more than 200. The last time Quebec had a similar stretch was in late-May to early-June; since then it has enjoyed multiple stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19 within the province.
On Monday, Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region were moved to the province’s orange stage, the second highest on its COVID-19 alert system. Restrictions, such as gathering limits, are affected depending on where a region is on the colour-coded scale. Arruda said it’s “highly probable” that regions will move from orange to red (the highest alert level) but there is still time to flatten the curve and move back to yellow and green.
“If we want to have a Christmas that is a bit normal, people have to cooperate,” said Arruda. “It’s major.”
Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst-hit province. Along with owning the biggest death toll (5,804) of any jurisdiction, it has the most active cases per 100,000 residents. Ontario is the only province with more active cases, after it announced 425 new patients on Monday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 2.
Of the most recent group of 586 cases in Quebec, Montreal reported the most with 219, followed by the Quebec City (92), Montérégie (76), Outaouais (31), Estrie (21) Chaudière-Appalaches (50), Laurentides (39) and Laval (20) health regions.
Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 23,484 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.
In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, no one has died, but the province added three fatalities and retracted one from previous dates, setting its death toll at 5,804. Three-hundred and thirty-five patients have also recently recovered, which means there are now 3,193 active cases in the province.
Over the weekend, the province’s police investigation into bars and restaurants resulted in them checking 2,206 establishments. Ninety fines were distributed and 1,500 warnings, for matters such as not respecting physical distancing requirements or consuming alcohol after the legal hours.
Throughout Quebec schools, there are 392 active cases among students across public and private schools and 93 among staff, as of its most current information from Friday evening. One-hundred and nine students have recovered as well as 38 staff members. So far, at least 235 class bubbles have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 46 since the last report. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 334 of them have had a case of COVID-19, up by 62.