After crossing self-imposed threshold of COVID-19 cases, Quebec shifts the threshold

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube. (File: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)

The number of daily COVID-19 infections is steadily increasing in Quebec and, for more than a week, has passed a critical threshold leaders had previously identified: 20 infections per million people.

For weeks, the Legault government has said this is the bar that the province must not exceed in order to keep control of the situation.

On Friday, however, provincial Minister of Health Christian Dubé changed that message a little. He sounded a reassuring note at a press conference, saying that if Quebec doesn't exceed a threshold of "20 to 25" cases per million inhabitants, on average, on a weekly basis, "we're okay."

Quebec recorded 219 new cases of coronavirus infections in the last day, from Thursday to Friday. To keep to the threshold of 20 cases per million inhabitants, the maximum is about 170 cases per day. For at least a week, that hasn't been the case.

This week Premier François Legault appealed again to Quebecers to be disciplined and scrupulously follow public health rules -- mask-wearing, handwashing and social distancing. 

But, Legault said, the government cannot go inside every house in the province to make sure the rules are being observed.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Sept. 11, 2020.

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