Quebec says COVID-19 red zone measures are working, but efforts must be maintained
MONTREAL -- Quebec's red-zone measures for the month of October already appear to be working, according to Health Minister Christian Dube.
He made the announcement during a news conference on Friday alongside public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda, in reference to a recent study by the province's public health institute.
“We’re following our game plan, we are where we want to be at this point in the month, but the match hasn’t been won," Dube said.
“The fact is that Quebecers all together have succeeded in changing the trend that we noticed last week," he added.
Dube is asking Quebecers to reduce their contacts by one person each moving forward -- so to avoid seeing one person they usually do on a given day.
"That's not too much to ask," he said, adding that if everyone reduces their contacts from five to four people per day, results will be noticeable within two weeks.
"We mustn’t change our behaviour just because things are getting better," Dube said. “For me this is a concrete example of exactly what can happen when we pool our efforts.”
Quebec health authorities reported 1,055 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic to 91,018.
Fourteen more deaths were also reported on Friday, including one from the past 24 hours, 11 from between Oct. 9 and 14 and two from before Oct. 9.
The total number of deaths in Quebec is now 6,018 after health officials removed one case that was not attributable to the disease.
Comparing Thursday's data to Friday's shows one new death in the Saguenay region, one in Quebec City, two in Mauricie, five in Montreal, one in Chaudiere-Appalaches, one in Laval, two in the Laurentians and two more in Monteregie.
Montreal reported the bulk of the province's new cases, with 250 (total 38,677), followed by Monteregie, with 187 (total 13,284) and Quebec City, with 174 (total 6,732). Lanaudiere also reported 113 cases of the disease after 10 days of reporting numbers mostly in the 30s and 40s (total 6,045).
Ahead of a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon, Dube tweeted the province's approximate moving average of 1,000 cases per day "shows that the efforts of Quebecers are yielding results, but we must continue if we want the cases to trend downwards and for the virus to kill as few people as possible."
Hospitalizations in the province increased by 14 from Thursday to Friday, for a total of 507 across Quebec. Of those in hospital, 87 are receiving treatment in the intensive care ward, which is an increase of four from the number reported on Thursday.
As of Friday, 76,512 people are confirmed recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec, which is an increase of 1,045 over the past 24 hours.
Quebec health authorities analyzed samples of 29,028 COVID-19 tests on Oct. 14 (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
This is a developing story that will be updated.