Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Thursday press conference extended the existing lockdown in four regions due to the rampant rate of COVID-19 infections. Curfew was also brought back to 8 p.m. for Montreal and Laval until further notice.
The four regions that will be affected by the lockdown will take effect on Sunday, including Quebec City, Gatineau, Beauce, and Levis. Earlier last week, Quebec City, Gatineau, and Levis were placed under a ten-day lockdown. Now, Beauce and Chaudiere-Appalaches regions have been added to the list.
The existing health measures were to expire on Sunday. However, they have been renewed, and another review won’t happen until 8th April. Curfews will also begin at 8 p.m. in the affected region, while schools and other non-essential businesses to remain closed until 18th April.
Legault affirmed that Montreal and Laval are stable, but preventative measures are necessary to keep those cities safe. Experts and public health officials are worried that an outbreak happens in the province’s biggest metropolitan region. Montreal and Laval are densely populated, and in case of an outbreak, there will be a big problem in hospitals.
In Montreal and Laval, schools will stay open. When asked why to allow kids in physical school Montreal and Laval, Legault replied that Montreal is stable, and before they closed down schools, the situation was severe.
“Now we’re bringing back an earlier curfew, but the schools, if we can save those even just for another week or two, it is so important right now.”
On Thursday, the province witnessed the most significant COVID-19 daily increase with 1 609 infections. In Quebec City, they reported 436 new cases, which is the highest daily count ever.
Legault warned that the Eastern Townships to stay on guard as it may soon be on the list. He added that new caseloads are increasing, and in the past weeks, there were none.
“So the Eastern Townships, for us, is under high surveillance. Public health is looking keeping a close eye on the situation from hour to hour.”
Legault noted that people are tired of the back and forth rules but insisted that there are good reasons to tighten and loosen restrictions.
“When we end the lockdown, it’s to help with people’s mental health. Deciding how strict to be is a fragile balance.”