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Canada Coronavirus live updates: Starting Thursday in red zones, Quebec mandates masks in high school classrooms, bans team sports

21:00  05 october  2020
21:00  05 october  2020 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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Top updates

  • Starting Thursday in red zones, Quebec mandates masks in high school classrooms, bans team sports
  • Quebec adds 1,191 cases, six deaths and 27 hospitalizations
  • Masks will be required in schoolyards as Quebec tightens rules in red zones
  • Canadian karaoke bar lets customers sing in the shower during pandemic
  • Despite having SARS ‘dress rehearsal for COVID-19,’ Canada failed health workers: report
  • Canadians can get $500 a week if they have COVID-19 or care for those who have it
  • ‘Where are the adults?’ Trump criticized for greeting supporters outside hospital

More below

1:40 p.m.

Starting Thursday in red zones, Quebec mandates masks in high school classrooms, bans team sports

(This item is being updated)

Starting Thursday in red zones, masks will be mandatory in high school classrooms and all team sports are banned. The measures will be in place until at least Oct. 28.

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(Here’s the press release outlining the measures being announced this afternoon.)

The new directives were announced this afternoon by Education Minister Jean-François Roberge.

Schools aren’t “major” vectors of transmission but there has been some spread of the virus within the education system, Roberge told a press conference this afternoon.

He said the measures will apply only in red zones, which include Greater Montreal, Quebec City and much of the Chaudière-Appalaches region.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 8 and until at least Oct. 28, all students in high school must wear masks in class as well as outdoors while on school grounds, Roberge said.

Masks are already mandatory in common areas in schools but until now Quebec has resisted pressure to make them mandatory in classrooms and school yards.

There is no change in elementary schools: students will not have to wear masks in classrooms.

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Also starting Thursday, students in Grades 10 and 11 will go to school on alternate days. On days when they aren’t in school, they will learn remotely, Roberge said.

As well, after-school activities and school trips are cancelled in red zones.

A reporter asked Roberge why Quebec doesn’t give all students the option of learning remotely.

In response, the education minister said the government has decided that “the best place for students is in school.”

Roberge announced that Quebec is launching a recruitment campaign to hire 2,000 to help with cleaning schools and supervising students.

In the coming days, and over the next few weeks, there will be increased police presence around high schools to raise awareness and ensure students are respecting physical distancing.

Isabelle Charest, the junior minister responsible for sports, announced that as of Thursday and until Oct. 28 team sports and leisure activities must stop in red zones, including games and competitions.

In addition, gyms must close in red zones, Charest said.

Danielle McCann, the minister for higher education, said CEGEPs and universities in red zones are being told to “as much as possible” teach remotely.

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It’s unclear which institutions this order will affect as most post-secondary classes are already providing distance learning.

12:50 p.m.

More than 35,000 people sign petition to keep team sports in red zones

“No to the cancellation of team sports in red zones” is the title of a petition that has so far collected almost 40,000 signatures.

12:10 p.m.

Trudeau provides update

At a press conference today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to download the COVID Alert exposure notification app .

More than 80 per cent of new cases are being reported in Quebec and Ontario, Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told the same press conference.

12:05 p.m.

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11:55 a.m.

Montreal police responded to more than 700 pandemic-related calls last week

Montreal police say they responded to 724 calls related to Quebec’s pandemic directives last week.

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In a tweet this morning, the force said it handed out 36 tickets and inspected 53 places licensed to serve alcohol as well as 201 other locations.

11:40 a.m.

Quebec will hold two briefings today

Two major briefings are scheduled to take place today in Quebec.

At 1 p.m., Education Minister Jean-François Roberge is among the ministers who will discuss changes to directives involving schools and sports.

At 5 p.m., Premier François Legault will hold another press conference. In part, this one is expected to be about the COVID Alert exposure notification app .

I’ll provide live coverage and a feed here.

11:10 a.m.

Quebec adds 1,191 cases, six deaths and 27 hospitalizations

Quebec has recorded 1,191 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

It’s the fourth consecutive day that Quebec has reported more than 1,000 new infections.

And it’s the biggest one-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic, with the exception of one day in early May when Quebec added hundreds of cases from April that had been missed due to a “computer problem.”

Six new deaths were reported today – two occurred over the past 24 hours, three last week and one on an unknown date.

The number of hospitalizations continues to rise.

Twenty-seven more people are in hospital, for a total of 361.

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“The big increase in hospitalizations over the past few days is worrying,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said via Twitter. “We can all make a difference to protect the capacity of our health system: let’s limit our contacts and respect (public health) directives.”

That’s the most people Quebec has had in hospital with COVID-19 since early July.

Among those in hospital, 62 are in intensive care – two fewer than the previous date.

On Saturday,  25,203 people were tested. That’s the last day for which screening data is available.

This chart shows the seven-day trend:

table
10:40 a.m.

Masks will be required in schoolyards as Quebec tightens rules in red zones

Students will be required to wear masks in the schoolyard from Grade 4 and up in red alert COVID-19 zones as the Legault government steps up its fight against the pandemic.

But Quebec is denying early reports that all team sports, such as football, soccer and hockey, will be banned entirely in red zones but some changes in the rules are expected.

Read our full story , by Philip Authier.

10:25 a.m.

Canadian karaoke bar lets customers sing in the shower during pandemic

A Canadian karaoke bar is letting its customers sing in the shower during the pandemic – to keep people safe, they’ve constructed a shower stall, complete with curtains and tubular piping, on stage.

Read our full story .

10:20 a.m.

Despite having SARS ‘dress rehearsal for COVID-19,’ Canada failed health workers: report

Canada put health-care workers at risk of contracting COVID-19 and taking it home to their families because it failed to learn lessons from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003, a new report says.

Read our full story .

10:15 a.m.

Canadians can get $500 a week if they have COVID-19 or care for those who have it

Canadians forced to miss work because of COVID-19 can start applying for financial support from the federal government today.

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Households will be able to apply for $500 per week for up to 26 weeks when one person misses more than half a week of work because they have to care for a child because of the illness.

Read our full story .

10:10 a.m.

‘Where are the adults?’ Trump criticized for greeting supporters outside hospital

President Donald Trump unexpectedly left the hospital where he’s being treated for COVID-19 to greet supporters on Sunday, waving to them from his motorcade in a bid to demonstrate strength while yearning to return to the campaign trail.

Dr. James Phillips, a professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, said Trump put others at risk by taking the ride on Sunday.

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures.

Read our full story .

10 a.m.

Montrealers can get tested at 18 clinics today

Montrealers can be screened at 18 test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here .

9:45 a.m.

Over past two weeks, Quebec added almost 11,000 cases

This was the situation across Canada as of last night, according to the Canada COVID-19 Situational Awareness Dashboard.

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9:45 a.m.

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