Montérégie is one of the four regions of Quebec that have gone to the pre-alert level due to community transmission of the virus in the territory. Police interventions and inspections will be increased, while the sale of food will be prohibited in bars after midnight, Health Minister Christian Dubé said on September 15.
Among the additional measures, residents who live in private seniors’ residences will have to wear the mask when moving in the corridors, common rooms and elevators.
“The transmission takes place between friends or in the family. It is not an individual who comes from Europe who infects other people. Private gatherings are our biggest problem, because the guard drops during the evening, ”summed up Mr. Dubé, who gave examples of meetings being the cause of outbreaks.
“A group of 17 people came to a restaurant in Montérégie. 31 new cases were associated with this gathering. In addition, it will be necessary to proceed to the screening of 330 customers of the restaurant, he informed. Imagine the workload that this requires. ”
Mr. Dubé also reported that a picnic held recently at Mont Saint-Bruno resulted in five new cases, “without the contagion.” Health measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask were not respected ”.
The Minister of Health believes that the health network is “too fragile” to face a second wave. To those who wonder why the situation worries him, when the deaths are few at present, Mr. Dubé argues that the impact is being felt on the system “even if it does not seem visible”.
“In some places, we have to hire staff who provided care so that they can do screening,” he explained.
“Think of others”
For his part, Prime Minister François Legault said he was “very worried” about the upward trend in recent days. He recalled that the spread of the virus could lead to the hospitalization and death of people with the disease.
“There is a risk that hospitals will be overcrowded, that surgeries will be postponed, that classes will be closed, that businesses will have to cease their activities. This is the time to think about others, about vulnerable people, ”said the one who launched“ a call for solidarity ”.
“If the situation does not improve”, some regions in the yellow zone (early warning) will change to orange (moderate warning), warned the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda. For the moment, Montérégie, Montreal, Laval, the Capitale-Nationale, Estrie, Outaouais, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches have been placed at the pre-alert level.