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Quebec COVID-19 Rules Could Gradually Start Being Lifted Before Mid-February

That's public health director Dr. Boileau's prediction, at least.

Senior Editor
Quebec COVID-19 Rules Could Gradually Start Being Lifted Before Mid-February

Is Quebec on track for a Valentine's Day gift? Though Premier François Legault said Thursday that the province isn't yet in a place that would allow the government to lift more Quebec COVID-19 rules, interim public health director Dr. Luc Boileau suggested that could change by mid-February.

In an interview on Radio-Canada program Tout un matin Friday morning, the director told host Patrick Masbourian that public health experts are currently "working extremely hard to try to weigh" the risks associated with higher numbers of infections and hospitalizations "to make them compatible with a loosening of restrictions."

Pressed by Masbourian, Dr. Boileau predicted that a gradual reopening could begin before the middle of next month, but cautioned that he still has to consult with other public health officials.

He also rejected the idea of presenting a reopening calendar in the near future, saying he couldn't anticipate COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers. The reopening of Quebec elementary and high schools on January 17, he explained, could have an effect on the epidemiological situation.

Public health experts are nevertheless "confident we are on the right path," Boileau continued.

The province reported decreases in the total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on January 20 and 21 after weeks of what the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) called "exponential growth."

The institute's latest projections suggest new daily hospital admissions could drop to around 200 within the next two weeks. Quebec tallied 346 new hospitalizations on January 21.

Total COVID-19 hospitalizations, meanwhile, could drop to 3,000 in the same time period, down from 3,351 on January 21.

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