MONTREAL — Quebec reported another 1,097 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths linked to the virus on Saturday as new restrictions were set to be brought in for additional regions.
As of Saturday night, nearly all the regions along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City will be subjected to new restrictions as they move to the highest COVID-19 alert level.
In a news release on Saturday, the Quebec government announced it was adding the City of Gatineau and the Collines-de-l'Outaouais regions in western Quebec to the list.
Bars, restaurant dining rooms and gyms in so-called "red zones" must be closed, sports are limited and private citizens are not allowed to gather in private homes with anyone outside their household, with few exceptions.
Citizens are also discouraged from travelling to regions at lower alert levels or out of the province.
Rules requiring high school students to wear masks in class, which are already in effect in the Greater Montreal and Quebec City regions, will be applicable in the new red zones as of the middle of next week.
In a Facebook post, Premier Francois Legault urged Quebecers to take care of their mental health, noting that many people may be feeling scared or anxious during a second wave.
"Take the time to call someone who lives alone," he wrote.
"Take the time to call your grandparents and vulnerable loved ones who live more isolated."
An online survey carried out by groups representing new mothers reported that COVID-19 has increased stress among women who have given birth in recent months.
Some 38.6 per cent of the 267 mothers surveyed between May 5 and Aug. 10 said they experienced considerable stress and anxiety in giving birth during the pandemic, while 67 per cent said the absence of their partner or loved ones impacted the delivery process.
Another 37.1 per cent said they experienced moderate stress, while less than 10 per cent said they'd felt no additional anxiety at all.
Quebec has reported more than 1,000 new cases for six of the last seven days.
The province's Health Department said Saturday that three of the newly reported deaths had occurred in the last 24 hours, seven happened between Oct. 3 and 8, and four occurred earlier.
Hospitalizations increased by 11 to 444, and six more people were in intensive care, for a total of 73.
Quebec has now reported a total of 85,191 cases and 5,950 deaths since the pandemic began.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press