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Ontario premier issues stern warning on second ‘wave or tsunami,’ Quebec enters red alert

COVID-19 In Canada
COVID-19 In Canada

Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches move into the red alert level

Quebec Premier François Legault announced Monday that the regions of Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches are moving into the red alert level, the most critical alert level in the province.

From Oct. 2 to Oct. 28, only people living at the same address can be inside a home at the same time, with an exception for a single caregiver.

Dining rooms in restaurants will be closed, but take-out services will be allowed, and other public spaces like bars, theatres, casinos and cinemas must shut down operations.

Places of worship can operate with a maximum of 25 people. Everyone must stay two metres apart outside and they must where a mask when that is not possible.

“We also need to reduce our contacts everywhere in Quebec,” Legault said. “We cannot wait for the red alert.”

“The number of cases is rising, if we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths we must act strongly right now.”

Ontario could see thousands of COVID-19 cases a day in second wave

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, explained that there are two models for the future of the province’s second wave, one that would lead to thousands of new cases a day.

The “most concerning” model is the “penultimate or the tsunami-type wave” where there is rapid exponential growth in cases that impacts the whole province.

“We would be up and having anywhere from three to four to five thousand new cases a day,” Dr. Williams said at a press conference on Monday.

The second model is identified by “undulating waves” and would continue into 2021, but modellers have not identified how big each of these shorter waves would be.

“This is a wakeup call for us, we have to pay attention to this in a serious way,” the Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said.

Dr. Williams added that considerations are still being brought forward to the public health measures table related to moving all of Ontario, or certain areas of the province, back to Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan. He added that the core difference between the COVID-19 situation now and when restrictions were initially put in is that virus was all over the province, instead of mainly being identified in more urban areas of Ontario. Dr. Williams confirmed that some of the recommendations being put forward are “pan-Ontario” measures and restrictions.

The province’s chief medical officer of health asked the public to be cautious about who they interact with, particularly individuals who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

“We’re getting some people out there who are basically saying, we don’t really care about the rules and we’re going to be cavalier about it,” Dr. Williams explained. “I would avoid contact with those people…because you have no idea, and they have no idea, if they’ve been exposed or not at this stage.”