Two more Laurentides regional municipalities will become COVID-19 red zones, Argenteuil to remain orange

Two regional municipalities in the Laurentides region of Québec, the MRC des Pays-en-Haut and the MRC des Laurentides are now at the red level of Québec’s COVID-19 alert and surveillance system. The CISSS des Laurentides regional health authority will be implementing red zone measures to slow down the transmission of the virus.

The measures will come into force on Monday, December 14, at 12:01 a.m.

However, measures affecting schools and sports will come into force on December 17. These same measures have been in force for several weeks in the MRCs of La Rivière-du-Nord, Thérèse-De Blainville, Deux-Montagnes and the the Ville de Mirabel.

In Québec, maximum alert (red) involves more restrictive measures.  The alert levels are established by following the recommendations of the public health authorities who make a regular analysis of the situation, taking into account the epidemiological situation, the control of transmission, and the capacity of the health care system. In the MRCs of Pays-en-Haut and Laurentides, the main reason for decision is the increasingly strong community transmission of COVID-19, especially during the previous week.

“The rapid development of the situation in these sectors over the past few days leaves us with no choice to enhance health measures by going to the maximum alert level. By limiting your contacts and by decreasing your activities, it will be possible to regain control over the situation. I ask your collaboration since compliance with sanitary measures will be decisive for the rest of things,” said Dr. Éric Goyer, regional director of public health for the Laurentides.

For residents and companies in these sectors, the red level measures are:

  • Private gatherings indoors or outdoors are prohibited.
  • It is not recommended to move from one area to another when you live in red zone. Essential travel (e.g .: workers, students, shared guards, transportation of goods) is authorized.
  • Closure of restaurants and food courts in shopping centers and food stores, except for deliveries, take-out orders or drive-through.
  • Closure of bars and nightclubs.
  • Closure of saunas and spas, with the exception of personal care provided there.
  • Closure of libraries other than those in educational institutions and the loan counters at public libraries.
  • Closure of cinemas and performing arts venues.
  • Closure of physical training rooms/fitness facilities.
  • Closure of any indoor location, other than a private residence or what takes its place, when it is used for the purpose of holding an event or social activity.

CHSLDs and private seniors’ residences (RPA)

  • Visits for humanitarian purposes only.
  • Visits by caregivers (1 person at a time, and a maximum of 2 people per day in a CHSLD).

Preschool, elementary and secondary schools

  • Extracurricular activities suspended.
  • School trips and inter-school activities suspended.
  • Attendance in class is every other day for Secondary 3, 4, and 5 students.

Leisure and sport

  • No organized physical, sport or leisure activity permitted.
  • Activities carried out in free practice, individually or in pairs, authorized in accordance with the sanitary instructions.
  • Indoor sports facilities authorized to open for free practice, but access to changing rooms not allowed, except for toilets. The changing rooms may however remain open for access to free swimming and to sports-study activities and sports concentrations.
  • The number of people present is determined by the site managers according to the capacity reception of the infrastructure and must allow the strict application of distancing measures.
  • No competition or spectator allowed. However, while reducing the minimum number of people, it may be possible to authorize an accompanying person when necessary (e.g. the parent of a child under 10 or the companion of a person with a disability).

In the MRC d’Argenteuil and MRC Antoine-Labelle, the orange level is still in effect.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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