Officials just unveiled a new COVID-19 alert system in Quebec. Health Minister Chrisitan Dubé presented the system on Tuesday. It aims to track the progression of the virus and determine whether or not regions require additional intervention measures.
With four levels of alert, the new system could determine regional responses in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
"With this system of alerts and regional interventions, our government has found the right balance: to ensure the maximum protection of the health of the population, while minimizing the impact of the measures on our society and our economy," said Dubé.
"This is why we have developed a gradual approach adapted to the reality of the different regions of Quebec, and which is operationalized quickly."
Dubé underscored that in order for everyone to be safe, strict adherence to the public health rules must be a priority.
"We are doing this so that our children can continue to go to school, to protect our seniors, to keep our health care workers safe, and to get our economy going," he concluded.
The four levels of the alert system are colour-coded.
Level 1 (green) means that constant vigilance is required despite "weak" community transmission. Level 2 (yellow) is for an increased risk of transmission.
Level 3 (orange) is for a "moderate alert" and would involve "new measures that target specific sectors of activity and settings where the risk of transmission is deemed higher."
Finally, Level 4 (red) is the highest alert, where the government would consider stopping all non-essential activities while trying to avoid a complete quarantine.
Overall, only a couple of regions in Quebec have reached a "yellow alert" in the past few weeks.
Last week, health officials noted a "yellow alert" after small outbreaks in Quebec City, Estrie, Outaouais, and Laval.
The chart and a map tracking the progression of alerts in the province will be updated at the end of each week.
Although case counts have decreased significantly since the spring, Dr. Horacio Arruda reminded us all that the virus is still extremely dangerous and very present in Quebec.
"What is important to remember is that basic sanitary measures such as physical distancing, hand hygiene and wearing a face cover must be observed at all times, for all four levels," he said.