On Friday, the Ministry of Health and Social Services released documents showing Quebec public health officials' advice to the government concerning changes to COVID-19 measures in the province's health regions.
Though the ministry made clear in a statement that the "recommendations presented are evolving" and subject to further discussion before rules are finalized, the latest document, from February 16, suggests that public health is eyeing a further relaxing of measures.
These documents are presentations to [...] support certain decisions regarding the application of health measures.
Ministry of Health & Social Services
Specifically, the document, signed by National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda, states that a potential change in regional alert levels could take place after March 8.
"Other regions," it says "could become orange" so long as "the trend holds."
It makes clear, however, that confirmation of such a move would come at a later date.
The document also states that "the fragility of the situation" requires "at least" four weeks of "stability" before officials can consider changes.
It further recommended a high degree of caution given the arrival of COVID-19 virus variants in the province.
As of February 19, only six regions, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Nord-du-Québec and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, are in the orange zone.
Outaouais is projected to become an orange region on February 22.
The rest of the province remains a red zone.