Quebec governments unveils new regional COVID-19 alert system

Sep 8 2020, 9:38 am

The Quebec government has unveiled a new regional coronavirus alert and intervention system with the goal of limiting the spread during a potential second wave.

The colour-coded alert system was developed by public health and has four tiers for each region in Quebec, green, yellow, orange, and red.

The lowest colour on the spectrum, green, calls for vigilance and “basic measures,” meaning activities can be followed in compliance with public health guidelines.

Yellow is an “early warning” and calls for strengthened basic measures. Activities can be followed as per public health with added enforcement such as fines.

Orange is the “moderate alert” where the risk of transmission is deemed higher.

Red means that “maximum restrictions” will be applied to that specific region which could include prohibiting non-essential activities.

Christian Dubé, Quebec’s health minister, says the colours are based on a set of criteria that public health came up with: epidemiological situations, the control of transmission, and the state of the region’s health-care systems.

Dubé says the new alert system will help the public decided which regions throughout the province are most infected and which areas have the highest rate of transmission. He says the alert system will help citizens “adapt to situations.”

After recording 216 new cases on Monday — the province’s highest increase in more than three months — health officials announced decreased numbers for the first time in over a week on Tuesday morning.

Over the past week, a surge in provincial cases resulted in the threat of another lockdown.

“We are getting ready, and have been for many months now, to prepare for the second wave,” said Dubé in French. “We are presenting Quebecers with a tool today that will help guide both our actions and decisions.”

Dubé says he is “worried” but feels “constructed” that Quebecers can adapt to what he called “the new normal.”

Dubé said if transmission continues to increase, citizens will need to be more diligent in their efforts, and he didn’t rule out the government enforcing another lockdown.

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