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Quebec stops publishing daily COVID-19 data despite leading country in number of cases

Quebec’s Health Ministry says it will only provide weekly reports about COVID-19, rather than providing a daily rundown of the situation.

The province’s public health institute, INSPQ, had also been publishing daily updates, including the number of cases and hospitalizations in the province, the number of tests conducted and how many people have died.

The data was also broken down by age and region and shown how many long-term care homes have outbreaks.

The move from daily to weekly updates appears to make Quebec the province to be providing data less frequently than any other Canadian province, despite leading the country in number of cases.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the change in his daily news conference on COVID-19 Thursday, saying it’s up to each province to decide how transparent it needs to be.

He also said that Quebec still has a “significant number of cases” every day, and a significant number of deaths every day.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he hopes Quebec Premier François Legault will ‘continue to be transparent and open with Quebecers.’ (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

“I certainly hope that Premier [François] Legault would continue to be transparent and open with Quebecers and indeed with all Canadians as he has been from the very beginning,” Trudeau said.

The Health Ministry and INSPQ will only publish the data on their respective websites every Thursday, the first of them being July 2. The ministry will also be sending out a news release with the figures on that day every week.

The decision was first announced in a news release on Fête nationale, the province’s annual holiday.

In a follow-up email, Marie-Claude Lacasse, a Health Ministry spokesperson, said the “decision was made due to the evolving epidemiological situation, which is stabilizing.”

“The ministry will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust the data dissemination strategy as necessary.”

The number of daily cases and deaths in Quebec has declined in recent weeks.

As of Wednesday, 54,937 people in Quebec have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That’s an increase of 53 new cases since Tuesday.

There are 500 people in hospital and 5,441 have died. A total of 520,227 tests have come back negative.

The Quebec government has allowed most businesses to reopen, including restaurants, gyms and shopping malls, but bars remain closed.

CBC

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