COVID-19: Quebec “on break” for at least three weeks

The Quebec government is ordering “to close all businesses and businesses, except for essential services, until April 13,” said Premier François Legault on Monday. Complete confinement for the majority, therefore, until the day after Easter.
T he fight against COVID-19 or coronavirus disease has taken a new turn in Quebec, with now 628 confirmed or probable cases in total in the province. The North Shore remains the only region spared so far.

See list of essential services here

This is almost three times the 219 cases announced on Sunday, when the authorities only disclosed the cases confirmed by two positive tests, that of regional public health followed by the Quebec Public Health Laboratory in Montreal. With many more tests performed each day, the first criterion is now considered valid.

This convinced Prime Minister Legault, under the advice of the National Director of Public Health, Horacio Arruda, to “put Quebec on pause for three weeks”.

“It is important, in order to give ourselves every chance of reducing the spread of the virus, to make this decision, which is difficult, but which, in my opinion, is necessary,” said Mr. Legault, at his conference daily press held with Dr. Arruda and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Danielle McCann.

“What this means in concrete terms is that we ask all businesses, all businesses, to close no later than tomorrow [Tuesday] evening at midnight. But all the businesses, all the businesses that are capable of doing it today, I ask you to do it.

“I can understand that, for some companies, it will be difficult to do it before tomorrow [Tuesday] evening, midnight, but as quickly as possible … At the latest, therefore, from midnight, tomorrow [Tuesday] evening , it will be forbidden for these businesses to be open. ”

This almost total closure of Quebec nevertheless implies that certain places must remain open. “All grocery stores, pharmacies, the entire food chain, including the transport of food, firefighters, police, of course, the health network, all these essential services will continue to be provided,” said the Prime Minister, adding to the questions over the media, telecommunications companies and companies that manufacture essential products, such as medical equipment, for example.

Elders prohibited from leaving

Of the 628 cases listed, 45 people with coronavirus in Quebec are hospitalized, including 20 in intensive care. And we are still talking about four deaths, known for a few days, four residents of the same shelter for the elderly in Lavaltrie, in Lanaudière.

People aged 70 and over living in seniors’ residences are now banned from going out, except under supervision.

“We ask all the elderly people in the residences not to go out, except in exceptional cases and then except with supervision. I know this is a tough measure, but it is a necessary measure because the last thing we want in Quebec is for the virus to enter seniors’ residences. This is the most dangerous, which could have, unfortunately, the most disastrous results, “said Premier Legault.

For those who still live in their house, walking outdoors is permitted, but solo or at a minimum distance of one meter to avoid contact and possible contagion.

Highlights from François Legault’s press briefing on March 23

There is starting to be community transmission
45 hospitalized, including 20 in intensive care.
Closure of all businesses and stores except essential services until April 13 from midnight Tuesday. “Quebec is going to be on break for three weeks,” said François Legault
Prohibition on leaving seniors’ residences with exceptions
Travelers must absolutely isolate themselves 14 days. “It is a matter of life and death” recalls Dr. Horacio Arruda.
“Over the next few weeks, we will have to be united and courageous. It is important as a people that everyone collaborates. I need you, ”said François Legault.
Mr. Legault also appeals to young people to offer their help to organizations that help the most vulnerable in society.
The media continues. They are considered an essential service. Ways explored to help them, says François Legault. Also communications, telephone, etc. are considered essential
“It is normal to be afraid. But the best reaction is to say “What can I do?” It was impossible for Quebec to be blessed with holy water around. It happened. Now what you have to do is do what you are told, ”says Dr. Horacio Arruda.

Regions Confirmed or probable cases *

01- Bas-Saint-Laurent 3

02- Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean 1

03- Capitale-Nationale 33

04- Mauricie – Center du Québec 16

05- Estrie 48

06- Montreal 265

07- Outaouais 8

08- Abitibi-Témiscamingue 3

10- Nord-du-Québec 1

11- Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine 3

12- Chaudière-Appalaches 15

13- Laval 21

14- Lanaudière 50

15- Laurentians 30

16- Montérégie 66

Outside Quebec 1 3

TBD 2 62

TOTAL 628

CONFIRMED DEATHS 4

* As of March 23 at 1 p.m.

1 Person not resident in Quebec, but being present in the territory and having been tested in Quebec.

2 Region of residence of the unknown person. Information to come.

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