Quebecers who have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus will only have to isolate for a period of 10 days, the province’s health ministry announced Friday.
The ministry said the decision made in line with Institut national de santé publique du Québec to shorten the two-week mandatory isolation was based on evolving knowledge on “the transmission and duration” of the contagiousness of COVID-19.
As of Friday, people can stop quarantining 10 days after their first symptoms appear, or 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19 if they don’t show symptoms.
“Once the isolation period is over, people are no longer considered contagious,” Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health, said in a statement.
“But they must make sure to follow the directives that apply to the general population such as washing hands, wearing a mask and physical distancing.”
However, the new rules only apply to people who have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Their symptoms must also be considered mild or moderate.
Quebecers who are in preventive isolation due to being in contact with a confirmed case must still isolate for 14 days to see if symptoms develop.
The province reported 98 new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 62,124.
Authorities say one additional death was recorded before Aug. 21. The death toll stands at 5,750 after an investigation found a previously reported death was not linked to COVID-19.
The number of hospitalizations rose by two to 117 from the previous day. Of them, there are two additional patients in intensive care for a total of 17.
The most recent data for testing shows 15,711 tests were administered Wednesday. Quebec has carried out 1,622,269 tests to date.
— With files from the Canadian Press