October 23rd, 2020

Quebec moves more regions to highest COVID-19 alert level amid decline in new cases


By The Canadian Press on October 13, 2020.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault arrives at a news conference flanked by Health Minister Christian Dube, left and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's director of public health, in Montreal, on Monday, September 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL – The decline in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Quebec is a sign the government’s targeted lockdown approach is working, Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday, but he warned it’s too early to rejoice.

Public health officials in Quebec reported 815 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the smallest daily number of new cases since the end of September.

Legault, however, said he was moving three more regions to the maximum or “red” pandemic-alert level. The regions south and northeast of Montreal and the Charlevoix region near Quebec City will be forced to close bars, gyms and other venues and ban indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Saguenay, where officials are reporting an outbreak of 25 cases at a long-term care home, will move to “orange” alert, which is the level before red, he said. Montreal and Quebec City are already under red alert.

Legault told reporters he expects some restrictions to last several months but didn’t give details.

Health authorities reported three deaths linked to the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Two deaths between Oct. 6 and 11 have been newly attributed to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,970.

Hospitalizations rose by 11 compared with the prior day, to 468, with 85 patients in intensive care, an increase of 10. Quebec has reported a total of 87,791 infections since the pandemic began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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