COVID-19 UPDATE: Early February 2021

By Gary Yang

The Covid-19 pandemic has deeply shaken the life of the common Quebecer. As of February 11, 3 people out of each 100 are infected in Quebec. Quebec is now the most affected province in Canada, making up 33.5% of the 817183 Canadian cases caused by the pandemic. The daily rate of infection keeps on increasing but is seeing a slight slow-down since mid-January.

To fight the contagion, the provincial government has implemented several sanitary and regulatory measures. Each individual is expected to maintain a social distance of at least 2 meters and reduce contact with others as much as possible. Hand sanitizing is now mandatory before entering and leaving any place of gathering, such as the workplace, school and businesses or shops. Additionally, it is recommended that everybody install the COVID Alert application on their smart devices to log exposure to the virus. The app has reached 5.6 million users by the end of last year.

In Quebec, the regions particularly touched by the pandemic such as Montreal and its surroundings are placed under stricter, level 4 restrictions.

Figure 1

Map of Red (level 4) and Orange (level 3) restriction zones.

Image from Measures in force

CURFEW REGULATIONS

Under level 4 restriction, a curfew is in effect between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. During this time, travel and displacement outside of the home are forbidden unless the traveller is:

· working and coming home from work with Employer Attestation,

· obtaining medication at a pharmacy or hospital,

· visiting a sick parent,

· taking a recognized evening school,

· supervising dog defecation within 1 km of home,

· giving blood to Hema-Quebec,

· following a court order,

· accompanying people who cannot travel alone for the above purposes,

· accompanying children to see a parent with custody over them, or

· being homeless.

Violators will be fined between $1000 to $6000, or $500 if the offender is under 14 of age.

Furthermore, private gatherings with people from other addresses are prohibited in general. However, single individuals living alone can have one fixed visitor, people who need care are allowed one caregiver, and lovers living at different addresses are allowed to meet without the children. Similarly, public gatherings are prohibited except for funerals, demonstrations, and worship. Funerals can host a maximum of 25 people and only 10 people can gather at a place of worship at the same time. Most businesses are also allowed to open under restrictions specific to their operation.

POST SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Post-secondary institutions can host classes under 50% capacity with 1.5 m social distancing in-class and 2 m everywhere else. Masks are still obligatory unless the student is performing oral presentations, physical activity or eating. A maximum of 6 people is imposed for group projects and studying together.

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