Quebec raises alert levels in large cities, Ontario declares second COVID-19 wave

Quebec raises alert levels in large cities, Ontario declares second COVID-19 wave

Both provinces reported at least 700 new cases

Quebec moved its most populous regions to a maximum alert-level on Monday and Ontario declared itself in the grips of a second COVID-19 wave as both provinces grappled with rising caseloads.

Premier Francois Legault said the greater Montreal and Quebec City areas, along with the Chaudiere-Appalaches region south of the provincial capital, will enter the red alert level on Oct. 1. For the next 28 days, bars, restaurant dining areas, cinemas and other venues in those regions will be closed, he said.

“The situation has become critical,” Legault told reporters, as the province reported 750 new COVID-19 cases Monday. “The number of cases is rising. If we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged and if we want to limit the number of deaths, we must act strongly right now.”

The lockdowns don’t apply to the retail sector or to any other businesses, Legault said: “We want to make sure mothers and fathers can still make a living.”

Legault said schools will remain open, noting that about one per cent of the province’s schoolchildren are at home after outbreaks in their schools. If Quebecers follow the health directives, Legault added, he is optimistic that schools will not have to be shut.

Also in the three red zones, gatherings in private residences are no longer permitted.

Earlier Monday, Premier Doug Ford said the 700 new cases reported in Ontario — the highest daily increase since the start of the health crisis — were “deeply concerning” and warned this round of the pandemic could hit harder than the first.

“We know that this wave will be more complicated, more complex,” he said, again entreating residents to follow public health guidelines meant to help contain the spread of the virus.

The public’s willingness to adhere to those guidelines will determine if this is “a wave or a tsunami,” he said.

Most of the new cases in Ontario are in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa.

Big cities are also proving to be hot spots in Quebec, where new cases of COVID-19 have spiked in recent days.

Aside from the 750 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, health authorities reported one additional death linked to the virus. On Sunday, Quebec recorded 896 new cases of COVID-19 — its highest single-day jump in months.

Officials in both provinces have hinted at the possibility of additional restrictions in the areas experiencing a surge in cases but suggested there would not be a return to the widespread lockdowns imposed earlier this year.

While Ford said Monday that “everything is on the table” when it comes to flattening this second curve, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said the province would take a “surgical” approach in addressing mounting cases in a few regions.

Ontario and Quebec have been the hardest hit by COVID-19, representing close to 80 per cent of all cases in Canada.

Manitoba reported 39 new cases on Monday – 22 of them in Winnipeg, which has recently seen a spike in cases. The province has also recorded its 20th death linked to the virus.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s efforts to fast-track its newest COVID-19 economic recovery package stirred outrage from the opposition, who argued the Liberals forced the issue by proroguing Parliament last month.

The proposed package would establish more flexibility to qualify for employment insurance and set up three new benefits for Canadians who won’t qualify for EI but are still grappling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new program aims to fill the gap left by the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which took effect in the spring and expired over the weekend.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pleaded with the public to respect public health guidelines, as Canada’s top doctor said the country is “at a crossroads” when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government also warned last week that short-term lockdowns may be necessary to prevent small clusters of cases from turning into large outbreaks.

READ MORE: Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusOntarioQuebec

Just Posted

Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Caledonia Secondary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant to replace its aging science equipment. (File photo)
Cal snags major grant to modernize science equipment

The $50,000 comes from a pharmaceutical company

Unemployment rate drops in northwestern B.C.

Large improvement since Spring 2020

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)
Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Cassie Hall Elementary School students pose for a picture in their garden. Since 2019, students and staff at the school have been attending to the garden project. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
Cassie Hall students grow a green sanctuary at school

The K-6 elementary school students and staff have been working on the garden project since 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read