MONTREAL -- Quebec announced Monday it will open specialized clinics across the province, including in Montreal, Quebec City and the Montérégie, in order to better screen for COVID-19.

"We're still in a situation in Quebec where the transmission is low, but we must stay extremely vigilant because the situation could change at any time," said Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann. "We currently have 10 people under investigation at this moment."

The first clinic was opened Monday in the emergency room of Montreal's Hôtel-Dieu Hospital. It will be in service seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

A second clinic will open Wednesday at the University Institute in Mental Health of Quebec in Quebec City, eight hours a day.

Next Monday, a third clinic will open in the Montérégie region. McCann notes more centres could be opened in the near future, if there is a need to do so.

"Our network is very well informed and has put together, including the medical clinics, everything that's needed. So, we're prepared," McCann stated.

Anyone who suspects they may be displaying symptoms of the virus will have to call 811 to be given an appointment to go to one of the clinics.

"People should be prudent, but they should not get in a panic," said Quebec’s director of public health Horacio Arruda. "People would like to have a mask or something else that will protect them, but it's not the case. If you are sick, protect yourself and others around you." 

The province has also set up a hotline to answer any questions about coronavirus: 1 877 644 4545.


McCann confirmed that the province currently has two confirmed cases of the virus, as well as two probable cases.

She notes the fourth, and most recent, possible case is a person who recently returned from a cruise and was treated in the Montérégie for symptoms similar to those of the virus.

She adds authorities are working to track the person's movements and compile a list of people they may have been in contact with.


The government reminds Quebecers who recently travelled abroad that they must monitor themselves for symptoms such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing for 14 days upon their return to Canada.

Anyone coming home from China’s Hubei province and Iran must also self-quarantine. Those who visited other parts of China, including Hong Kong, as well as South Korea, Italy and Singapore are asked to self-monitor and avoid public places.

Of Quebec’s first three possible cases, one patient had travelled to France and another had come back from India. The first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Quebec is in isolation at home.

Anyone concerned that they may have contracted the virus must call Info-Santé at 811.