Canadian Manufacturing

Number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec reaches record high for second straight day

The provincial government reported 1,364 new confirmed cases on Oct. 6

October 6, 2020  The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The second wave of COVID-19 infections in Quebec is already looking “very different” from the first, provincial Health Minister Christian Dube said Oct. 6.

The provincial government reported 1,364 new confirmed cases on Oct. 6 — the highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic. There have now been 81,014 cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Quebec, more than half of all cases in Canada.

While the first wave was marked by serious outbreaks in long-term care centres, there was limited community transmission outside of those facilities, Dube told reporters at an afternoon press conference. “This time, this is totally different,” Dube said, noting there are currently more than 500 active outbreaks across the province.

But Dube said the government doesn’t know how the virus is spreading through the community.

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“It’s really hard to say, when you have a student being diagnosed at school, where he got it. Did he get it from his parent? Did he get it from his friend? From an uncle who got it at work? It is very difficult to know exactly where you got it,” he said. “That’s the reason we are saying right now, we are shutting down all those places where we can get together, because we don’t know exactly.”

Schools remain open in the province, but on Oct. 5 the government announced high school students in maximum-alert regions will be required to wear masks in class and those in Grades 10 and 11 will spend one day out of every two at home.

As of Oct. 2, the most recent date for which data is available, 666 schools had active cases of COVID-19 among staff or students.

Restaurant dining rooms, bars, theatres and other venues were shut in the so-called red zones Oct. 1 for a period of four weeks.

The Health Department reported three deaths in the previous 24 hours on Oct. 6 and said 14 earlier deaths have been linked to the novel coronavirus. Two deaths previously attributed to the disease were determined to have been from other causes, leaving the provincial death toll at 5,899.

There are now 397 people in hospital, an increase of 36 from the previous day, while 67 people are in intensive care — an increase of five.

Montreal, with 442 new cases, and the Monteregie region south of the city, with 223, accounted for nearly half of the new infections Oct. 6, while Quebec City reported 201. While the first wave was concentrated in Montreal, Dube said now all of Quebec is affected.

By Jacob Serebrin