In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Quebec with full force. The first confirmed case came at the end of February. The victim was a lady who was returning from Iran. Cases rapidly multiplied in the metropolis, which became the epicenter of the pandemic. There was also a significant outbreak in the Estrie region.
Quebec quickly implemented sanitary and social distancing measures to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and flatten the curve. The government’s objectives were to respond to the demand for care by building the capacities of the healthcare system. The availability of personal protective equipment was increased for healthcare personnel, and by mid-March, additional screening tests were made available.
The first press conference was held on March 12 by Quebec Prime Minister François Legault, who was joined by Quebec’s Minister of Health Danielle McCann and National Director of Public Health Horacio Arruda, in order to announce the measures that had been put in place to fight the pandemic. The day after the press conference, Minister Legault declared a state of emergency and the closure of all schools. The trio began holding daily press briefings at 1:00 each afternoon with updates on the situation. They also monitored all air transport arrivals and departures.
The course of the COVID-19 pandemic by region
In Gatineau, several changes were made at the municipal level, including close collaboration between the city and the healthcare network in order to monitor the situation and reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19.
May 12, 2020: Three new measures are announced by the City of Gatineau in order to provide support to agencies and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city decides to reduce the monthly rent of its tenants by 75 percent. The due date is postponed for the payment of business licenses and the period of validity is extended on construction permits. The city also grants a subsidy of $123,105 for a plan that will promote local purchasing.
May 11, 2020: The executive committee requests that the council maintain various subsidies for agencies and events despite the current crisis. The goal of the request is to maintain the quality of life of the citizens of Gatineau and to diminish the financial impact on the various community partners.
May 8, 2020: In accordance with instructions received from Health Canada, in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the city bans garage sales, which fall under the category of gatherings. In preparation for the return to school scheduled for May 11, the City of Gatineau Police Department (SPVG) explains the safety guidelines to be observed in school zones. Because the Gatineau Library is closed, it launches a new online book borrowing service.
May 5, 2020: The gardening season is kicked off by the City of Gatineau with the opening of the community gardens, while observing the preventive health measures issued by the federal government and public health officials.
May 4, 2020: Courtesy calls are made to senior citizens living in the city of Gatineau in order to reassure them during the period of confinement implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Another objective of the calls is to ensure the medical and nutritional wellbeing of the seniors and provide them with information on available resources. A call for mutual aid and solidarity is made by the city in order to unite and lend a hand to the agencies and business that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19 updates in Blainville
May 9, 2020: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, district meetings are cancelled until further notice.
May 8, 2020: It’s announced that certain worksites and jobs will resume operations on May 11, 2020. All garage sales are cancelled until further notice.
May 5, 2020: Bids are allowed to be submitted privately in video format for an indefinite period.
May 1, 2020: An optional no-contact method of paying taxes is implemented.
In the Estrie region: The number of COVID-19 cases has diminished significantly since the beginning of the pandemic, unlike the situation in Montreal. A group had left on a ski trip in the Alps during the spring break and several of them returned infected. But the situation seems to have returned to normal, and no new deaths have been reported during the past two weeks. To date, a total of 25 senior citizens over the age of 60 stricken with COVID-19 have died.
- Sports, recreation and outdoor activities will gradually be reinstated
- The measures that had been implemented will be relaxed in the living environment
- Regional checkpoints will be removed
- Economic activities will be resumed
- Childcare centers and school facilities will be reopened
May 14, 2020 COVID-19 update for the Terrebonne and Mascouche subdivisions of Les Moulins RCM
Given the fact that the current COVID-19 situation continues to evolve quickly, it’s important to mobilize in order to diminish the spread of the coronavirus. Les Moulins RCM is working in close collaboration with the government to respond to the emergency situation.
Following the recommendations of the government of Quebec, it’s important to stay at home and follow the guidelines to the letter. If you have to leave your home, it’s strongly recommended to purchase locally. The Office of Tourist Information and the Administrative Offices are currently closed for an indefinite period as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 emergency aid for SMEs offered by Les Moulins RCM
In mid-April, $1,272,454 in emergency aid was offered by the municipality to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Terrebonne and Mascouche. This financial relief comes out of the $150 million in COVID-19 emergency funds announced by the government. Assistance is being provided in the form of unlimited-term loans to companies experiencing difficulties stemming from COVID-19.
COVID-19 measures implemented in Trois-Rivières
- On May 14, nine new police officers went on duty to provide assistance with the current COVID-19 situation.
- Nearly a quarter of the residents of the Saint Joseph Long-Term Care Facility have been infected.
To help Trois-Rivières get through the coronavirus crisis, economic measures were implemented in the city on May 12, 2020 to aid businesses in the region. The IDE (Innovation and Economic Development) assists business leaders with their financial and networking needs through various programs. To date, they have provided support to more than 300 companies.