Health minister calls COVID-19 spike 'alarming'; publishes list of affected schools

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube removes his mask as he arrives for the daily COVID-19 briefing Monday, August 3, 2020 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS-Ryan Remiorz

By Daniel J. Rowe, CTV Montreal

MONTREAL -- Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube called a second straight day of over 180 new COVID-19 cases "alarming" and that the public needs to be more serious about listening to public health guidelines.

"This is an alert that we have to attentive to," he said in a news conference Friday. "This is not good news."

The cases, he added, are happening in the community for the most part and not in long-term care homes or hospitals.

He said, for example, that 14 of 17 people at a dinner party tested positive for the virus after flauting health measures and gathering in a group greater than 10.

"We have the power to change things and bring the number of cases down again," he said. "The fact is, it's very important to follow public health guidelines."

The government published a list of schools with at least one COVID-19 case on Friday afternoon. As of Friday afternoon, there were 47 affected schools — and Dube suggested that's good news, considering there are around 3,000 schools province-wide.

"To see this limited number of cases means we've been successful," said Dube.

Dube said the government needs to work with unions and administrations in the school network to find solutions at the school.

"We've seen people come forward with innovative solutions in the schools," said Dube.

Media reported that an alert system would be developed in the next few days. Dube said more information on a potential alert system will be announced during Tuesday's weekly news conference.

CJAD 800's Richard Deschamps contributed to this report.

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