COVID-19: Quebec restrictions may persist into December, expert says

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Don’t be surprised if public health restrictions caused by the coronavirus stretch into the holiday season.

Quebec reported 1,094 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the third day in a row with more than 1,000 cases. A total of 93,391 cases have now been confirmed in the province, which remains Canada’s coronavirus hot spot.

Thursday will mark three weeks since stricter public health directives took effect in Greater Montreal and other regions — including Quebec City — in a bid to slow the second wave of the disease. At the time, Premier François Legault said the so-called red alert level would continue for at least 28 days.

An extension of the red zone restrictions “is a very likely scenario,” Christopher Labos, a Montreal cardiologist with a degree in epidemiology, said Sunday in a telephone interview.

“We are no longer having the type of exponential growth we had at the beginning of the fall, but the latest numbers show we’re not controlling the virus as well as we might like to. So unless things change over the next two weeks, I suspect that means some degree of lockdown and restrictions will persist well into November and December,” said Labos, an associate with the McGill Office for Science and Society.