Strict public well being measures are returning to Quebec‘s Japanese Townships on Monday as authorities reply to a latest spike in COVID-19 instances.
The Quebec authorities had eased public well being restrictions within the Townships in mid-March, permitting restaurant dinning rooms, gyms and bars to reopen.
However earlier this weekend, the area’s public well being director, Dr. Alain Poirier, mentioned a big and sustained improve in instances, and outbreaks, prompted authorities to return the Townships to red-zone standing.
“The variety of instances has been step by step rising towards pink for a number of weeks,” Poirier mentioned, including that about half of recent transmissions are in houses.
The brand new restrictions will embrace closing restaurant eating rooms, gyms and bars. In addition they forbid gatherings of individuals from completely different households on non-public property, inside or outdoors.
Individuals dwelling alone can pair up with one family whereas the area is beneath red-zone measures. The curfew will stay in impact between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
93% of recent instances are variants
The Townships are actually averaging greater than 50 new instances each day. The overwhelming majority, 93 per cent, are variants. “We would as effectively say that we solely have variants,” Poirier mentioned.
Dr. Alain Poirier, director of public well being for the Japanese Townships, says many of the new instances within the area are variants. (Radio-Canada)
Regardless of the upper an infection charges, practically 40 per cent of the area’s residents have obtained their first dose of vaccine. That is extra than 200,000 individuals.
Of these, 88 per cent of individuals over the age of 60 have obtained a primary dose — a degree of safety that wasn’t accessible within the first and second waves.
“Vaccinations are progressing, so possibly our interval within the pink might be shorter,” Poirier mentioned.
On Friday, the area reported 86 new instances. That brings its lively caseload to 554, a charge of 111.5 per 100,000 individuals.
However inside the Townships, some sectors have been tougher hit than others. The world in and round Lac-Mégantic, often known as Le Granit, has greater than 200 lively instances, a charge of 962 per 100,000 individuals, the very best charge within the province.
All excessive colleges and non-essential companies in Le Granit have been shut at the least till Could 17, and the curfew was rolled again to eight p.m.
Restaurant enterprise loses with quick discover, proprietor says
The Japanese Townships was amongst a number of areas in Quebec the place the federal government determined to ease public well being measures in mid-March, regardless of warnings from specialists in regards to the risks of extra contagious variants.
Instances shortly spiralled within the others. Quebec Metropolis, Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais — all had been returned to red-zone measures, with some municipalities requiring added emergency restrictions.
Now that the Townships may even be a red-zone, companies homeowners are going through renewed uncertainty.
Simon Gaudreault, co-owner of the Brasserie Dunham brew-pub, mentioned the switching back-and-forth is each demanding and costly for the pub-side of his companies. He was absolutely stocked, serving clients, when the order got here down.
It is tough for the restaurant employees, Gaudreault mentioned. Many must discover one other job to maintain incomes a dwelling.
“It is arduous as a result of it’s on such quick discover,” he mentioned. “It isn’t even 48 hours prematurely that we have now to cease working. We’ve got to name everybody and say, ‘Hey, you are not working subsequent week.'”