Local numbers rise slightly, changes in lockdown measures
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Outaouais since the start of the pandemic reached 6,056 on February 15, marking a rise of 17 cases from the previous day. According to the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), there were 123 active COVID-19 cases in the region at that time.
With 157 deaths in the region so far – one more than last week - it noted that 5,776 people had recovered from the virus. It added that four people were hospitalized last week, adding that 27 of CISSSO’s employees were actively infected. Over the previous week, CISSSO stated they have administered an average of 380 COVID-19 screening tests per day.
Gatineau’s urban core has accounted for the majority of coronavirus cases in the region at this point with 4,470 cumulative cases and 97 active ones. The MRC de Papineau has had 745 total cases, with nine active cases; the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau has had 418 with three active cases; the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais has recorded 343 cases with nine active ones; and the MRC de Pontiac has seen 66 total cases, with five or less active ones. The origin of 14 cumulative cases and four active cases had yet to be determined.
CISSSO noted that dozens of its health care facilities have been affected by the virus, resulting in more than 30 active outbreaks. Notably, that includes the CHSLD de la Renaissance in Aylmer has recorded five total cases, with everyone recovered, Chartwell Monastère d’Aylmer has accounted for 20 total cases, one death, 14 active case, and five people recovered, the Château Symmes has had three total cases, two deaths, and one recovery.
--Provincial safety regulations
With the Outaouais remaining in the Quebec Government’s COVID-19 red-zone for maximum alert, the 8 pm to 5 am curfew will remain in place until further notice. Within that timeframe, people can’t leave their homes for unjustified reasons. Police will continue monitoring the situation, notably by dishing out fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to people who don’t respect the curfew regulations. It noted that young people aged 14 and over are subject to be fined more than $500.
On February 22, the region will moved to the orange zone.
Those who need to travel during curfew hours for work are encouraged to complete the Quebec Government’s Employer Attestation Concerning Travel During Curfew, available via the following link - https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/progressive-regional-alert-and-intervention-system/level-4-maximum-alert-red/.
Travel between regions and cities is not recommended, and people aren’t allowed to receive multiple visitors from another address. People who can are encouraged to work from home, except for those whose presence is needed. A person can stay overnight with their partner, but can’t travel during the curfew.
Place of worship are now open, allowing a maximum of 10 people, and 25 people for funerals.
Sports and recreational activities are allowed outside in public for people who live in the same household or four a maximum of four people from different households – noting that participants must socially distance.
Interior sports and recreational activities remain forbidden, noting that competition and spectators are not allowed.
Restaurant dining rooms remain closed, with delivery and take-out available – noting that only delivery is available during the curfew.
Bars and breweries, and taverns are also still closed.
Personal care and aesthetic shops are open.
Movie theaters and autitoriums are still closed.
Libraries are now open.
Post-secondary institutions are open at no more than 50 per cent capacity, noting that people must respect 1.5 metre social distancing in classrooms and two metres everywhere else.
People must wear masks, except when eating, performing a physical or artisitic activity like singing, playing a wind instrument or theatre.
Group activities can have a maximum of six students, respecting all the provincial safety regulations.
Manufacturers and construction companies have been advised to reduce their activities to a minimum, to work from home when possible to limit the number of people on construction sites.
Community organizations are able to operate with maximums of 25 people inside the same space in accordance to provincial safety regulations.
Visiting long-term care facilities (CHSLD) and old age homes (RPA) is only allowed for humanitarian reasons and a maximum of two identified informal caregivers who have been trained in envrionmental infection prevention and control measures.
More COVID-19 related information regarding the Outaouais is available on CISSSO’s website - https://cisss-outaouais.gouv.qc.ca/covid-19/.
People wanting to get tested for COVID-19 are encouraged to consult CISSSO’s online self-assessment tool before calling 1-877-644-4545 to set up an appointment within 24 hours.