Quebec & Ontario COVID-19 Rules Have Been The Harshest — The Prairies'... Less So (GRAPHS)

This graph compares the provinces' responses to the pandemic.

Senior Editor
Quebec & Ontario COVID-19 Rules Have Been The Harshest — The Prairies'... Less So (GRAPHS)

Lockdown. Reopening. Higher case counts. Longer lockdown. Slow reopening. Mini lockdown. Slow return to normal life (?). An online graph by the Bank of Canada puts the trajectory of pandemic restrictions into perspective.

The graph illustrates the severity of health measures and messaging in each Canadian province since January 2020. The Bank of Canada used what's called a COVID-19 stringency index to compile it, assigning values to publicly available rules and information campaigns. It does not measure the effect of these measures on the contagion.

The central bank says tracking the provinces' response to the pandemic "is important for understanding the impact of the pandemic on Canada's economy."

Bank of Canada

Ontario and Quebec had the most intense reaction to the disease over the course of the pandemic, the bank says. But restrictions in all provinces generally followed the same path, spiking during the first lockdown in spring 2020 before subsiding in the summer months, peaking again in early 2021, easing slightly, increasing between April and May 2021, and then dropping dramatically until the arrival of the Omicron wave in December 2021.

Now, those lines on the graph are poised for further downward motion as some provinces, including Quebec, begin to abandon some of the most restrictive COVID-19 measures in hopes of reaching a "more normal life."

The interactive Bank of Canada graph allows users to isolate information for individual provinces and compare the severity of their health rules and information campaigns, as well as narrow the timeframe to view COVID-19 stringency index values for particular months.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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