COVID-19
Closure of public gathering places
Article published on 15 March 2020
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Quebec adds the closing of public gathering places to its list of measures to limit the outbreak of COVID-19 in the province.

This includes bars, cinemas, libraries, training centers, swimming pools, ski centers and others, which will now be inaccessible.

For restaurants, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, asked to limit the number of customers to 50% of the capacity of the establishments in order to maintain a certain distance between customers.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec jumped to 39 Sunday afternoon, 15 more than the previous day. François Legault also reiterated that the population must limit non-essential outings.

According to Legault, Quebeckers should simply limit their outings to work, to buy food, to go to the pharmacy, to get medical treatment, to go for a walk or to help someone who is 70 years old and over.

At this time, there are still no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Outaouais.

Work-family balance measures for essential service workers
As of Monday morning, emergency daycare centers will be operational for workers in the health and essential services network, including those working in the MRC Pontiac.

This is an exceptional measure announced by the Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe, and the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, on Sunday afternoon, to allow employees of these services to continue their work.

The personnel targeted by the emergency childcare services:
- Employees of a health or social services establishment
- Police officers, firefighters, ambulance attendants, Urgence Quebec employees
- Correctional services officers and special constables.

The daycare service is free and will be able to accommodate 60,000 children in 400 sites located across Quebec, from Monday to Friday, until March 27th. In the Pontiac, the establishments that will welcome the service are the schools Dr. S.E. McDowell (Shawville) and Dr. Wilbert Keon (Isle-aux-Allumettes).

Time slots will be added gradually, including on Saturdays and Sundays. The service is accessible to children aged 5 and under who attend an educational childcare service. They are also accessible to children who attend kindergarten or elementary school, whether public or private, French or English.

A form is available online (quebec.ca/coronavirus) to register the children of the personnel concerned.

Canadian Borders
Quebec Prime Minister François Legault said he would like the borders to be closed to tourists due to the pandemic.

He indicated that there is a disagreement between Ottawa and Quebec regarding this border situation. Legault said his closing request for Justin Trudeau is only for travelers, not transportation of goods, and continues to say it is not a “good idea” to receive visitors to Canada for now.

In Ottawa, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, said at a press conference on Sunday that closing borders to foreigners is part of the discussions.

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