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Coronavirus: Is Quebec reopening too fast?

Coronavirus: Is Quebec’s deconfinement plan moving too quickly?
Coronavirus: Is Quebec's deconfinement plan moving too quickly?

Beaches in Quebec are officially allowed to reopen to the public on Monday, but on Thursday afternoon, hundreds of Montrealers were enjoying the summer weather at Cap St. Jacques beach.

As the province continues to deconfine and more businesses get the green light to reopen, it begs the question if Quebec is moving too fast.

READ MORE: Most Quebecers believe first wave of COVID-19 is over, polls finds

As of Thursday, Quebec had recorded 54,383 cases of COVID-19 and 5,340 deaths.

Deconfinement  began in mid-April when landscapers and garages got the green light to reopen.

Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec eases deconfinement as of Monday
Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec eases deconfinement as of Monday

In May, we saw retailers open, and as of Monday, we’ll see gyms, theatres, team sports, and gatherings indoors of up to 10 people allowed

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In Ontario, there were 32, 917 and 2,553 deaths as of Thursday.

The province’s reopening plan was a little different, happening in stages with two to four weeks in between to assess any impacts.

Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases expert with the McGill University Health Centre, says the fact that Quebec has slowed down its testing isn’t a good indicator when it comes to measuring the impacts of deconfinement.

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According to the government’s website, the last time the province had conduced over 10,000 tests was on June 5.

“While we are having fewer cases, we want to be sure to use our tests to pick up early on new cases so that there is a spike in numbers, we’re detecting early, therefore we can do the contact tracing early and we can do the isolation early,” said Oughton.

He added that he likes Ontario’s reopening plan because of the two- to four-week period between each stage of reopening.

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READ MORE: Montreal to phase out mobile testing clinics as new coronavirus cases drop

“Whereas in Quebec, where we’re moving a little bit faster, if there’s a spread, we may not have the time to detect it before we move onto the next step,” he said.

On Thursday, Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said she’d like to see the province be more clear on where it’s heading and the rules of reopening.

“If I were the government today, I would be spending a lot of time understanding where it is that I want to take Quebec and what are the key messages I’m sending, because it’s getting confusing,” she said.

The provincial government has said if they notice a surge in cases, they won’t hesitate to shut Quebec back down.