COVID-19 update - Regional alert system; Pontiac’s first case

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Added: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:10am
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Allyson Beauregard & Francois Carrier

QUÉBEC – The first case of COVID in the Pontiac was voluntarily declared when Marie-Pier Morais, a resident of the Mansfield/Fort-Coulonge area, posted the news on Facebook, September 18.
Morais said she and her family, some of who attend a local school, have been in isolation since receiving the results. Her family members were tested during the day on September 17. She explained that she contracted COVID while working in a red zone.
Regional alert system
The provincial government is continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including unveiling a progressive regional alert and intervention system on September 8. The map unveiled that day put the Outaouais in the Level 2 – early warning stage with three other regions; as of press time, the Outaouais was in Level 2.
“This system will guide decisions and actions over the coming months,” said Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services.
Four alert levels have been defined with corresponding interventions:
Level 1 – vigilance (green): corresponds to low community spread and requires that basic measures are followed in all settings (physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, mask-wearing, hand-washing, etc.). Other measures may also apply for specific activities and settings.
Level 2 – early warning (yellow): transmission of the virus is starting to grow. The basic measures will be strengthened and further action taken to promote and encourage compliance (e.g. more inspections, greater crowd control in
various venues, fines for non-compliance).
Level 3 – moderate alert (orange): introduces new measures that target specific sectors of activity and settings where the risk of transmission is higher. These sectors and settings will be subject to selective restrictions, prohibitions and closures.
Level 4 – maximum alert (red): includes targeted and more restrictive measures that could extend to prohibiting non-essential activities in situations where risk cannot be sufficiently contained. The objective is to avoid the generalized confinement experienced during the first wave as much as possible.
The alert levels are established based on recommendations from
public health authorities who regularly review the situation, taking into account the epidemiological situation, transmission control, and healthcare system capacity.
The alert system was recently altered to reflect sub-regions. 
On September 15, four new areas were identified as level two (yellow).
As a result, all facilities serving alcohol in Quebec can no longer do so after midnight. Some regions reached level 3 over the weekend of September 19.
The map of COVID alert levels by region is available at www.quebec.ca/coronavirus.
Mask fines
Effective on September 12, Quebecers who refuse to wear a mask without
a valid reason in an enclosed public location can be fined. “For months now, Quebecers have been making significant efforts to fight the pandemic. But, there’s
a minority of irresponsible people who are putting the health of other
people, especially seniors, at risk, as well as our health system,” said Premier Francois Legault when the news was announced on September 10.  
The numbers
As of press time, there were over 68,000 cases of the virus in Québec (5,804 deaths). The Outaouais now has 1,115 cases (946 recovered) and 34 deaths. The Municipality of Pontiac has <5 cases while the MRC Pontiac has <5.