With a whopping 1,055 new circumstances, 13 deaths, and a further 14 sufferers in hospital on Friday, well being specialists challenge that, until individuals cease having a lot contact with one another, each day COVID-19 circumstances in Quebec might go as excessive as 2,000 — with corresponding will increase in deaths and hospitalizations that may overwhelm the province’s already understaffed hospitals.
An epidemiological research offered on Friday signifies that Quebec’s partial lockdown has stabilized the unfold of COVID within the province, however Well being Minister Christian Dubé pleaded with Quebecers on Friday to additional cut back private contact so as to decrease the curve.
The virus may be transmitted throughout contact of 15 minutes or extra with somebody lower than two metres away, mentioned epidemiologist Marc Brisson, of the Institut de santé publique du Québec. So if Quebecers cut back such exposures by 25 per cent, the curve ought to flatten.
“We’ve got seen that we are able to stabilize the curve,” Dubé instructed reporters.
“I might love to cut back it. Sure, it makes a distinction,” he added referring to Quebec’s partial lockdown that started Oct. 1. “And now we have seen that distinction within the final two weeks.”
On Oct. 1, Quebec introduced the shutdown till Oct. 28 of eating places, bars, museums, cinemas, and casinos in “pink zones” of the province: Montreal, Quebec Metropolis and different areas.
On Oct. 9, sports activities and gymnasiums have been shut down. And to cut back numbers on faculty buses and in faculties, college students within the closing two years of highschool have been instructed to go to highschool each different day, and to proceed their education from dwelling on the off days.
Universities and CÉGEP junior faculties, the place some programs had been held in particular person, shifted all their programs on-line.
After first banning gatherings of karaoke singers, the general public well being division has now banned bingos.
Epidemiological projections offered by Quebec’s public well being institute on Friday recommend that, with out these measures, the numbers of circumstances, hospitalizations, and deaths would have risen exponentially within the province.
Whereas the scenario in Quebec hospitals is steady, it stays fragile, the minister mentioned.
The concern is that an inflow of COVID sufferers would scale back the capability to deal with sufferers with most cancers and different ailments or circumstances needing remedy.
Dubé mentioned he’s urging Quebecers who’ve shut contact with others within the office, in faculties or elsewhere, to have one fewer such contact out of 4.
Earlier than the lockdown that started in March, Quebecers had seven to eight contacts a day, on common, he mentioned.
Throughout the lockdown, shut contacts have been lowered to about three a day, however that quantity has since risen to 5 – 6.
Quebec doesn’t wish to impose a brand new lockdown. “I don’t even wish to take into consideration that,” Dubé mentioned.
The province will not be proposing new coercive measures to succeed in the aim of one-quarter fewer contacts, however does plan to roll out an promoting marketing campaign to encourage individuals to maintain their distance. It will likely be aimed particularly at individuals aged 15 to 25, who nonetheless have a number of each day contacts.
Dubé mentioned 20 per cent of individuals create 80 per cent of the issues.
“Let’s do it this weekend,” he mentioned. “Let’s have at the least one much less contact a day. That is large.”
Quebec, with 8.5 million individuals, nonetheless has a better variety of each day circumstances than Ontario. With a inhabitants of 14.7 million, Ontario had 712 new circumstances on Friday — 343 fewer than in Quebec on the identical day.
“We can’t erase our previous sins,” Dubé mentioned.
Requested whether or not the partial lockdown might proceed after Oct. 28, Dubé answered, “The following two weeks will likely be vital. We all know we’re asking for giant sacrifices.”
But when these efforts proceed, “We are going to break the wave,” he mentioned.
This story was final up to date on Oct. 17 at 10:46 a.m.