COVID-19 Timelines

In late 2019, a new coronavirus cropped up in China, and a few months later, it became a pandemic. The Canadian and Québec Governments proceeded to take public action on a scale I’ve never seen. Large swaths of public life were shut down. Social places closed or were empty as people stayed home either voluntarily or in quarantine. In the first days, grocery stores were swarmed with people buying supplies. 

For future reference, I’m keeping some notes on what happened when.

My Posts

A History provided by the Government of Canada


  • On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declares the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.
  • On March 9, 2020, Canada confirms its first death related to COVID-19.
  • On February 20, 2020, Canada confirms its first case related to travel outside mainland China.
  • On February 9, 2020, Canada expands COVID-19 screening requirements for travellers returning from affected areas to 10 airports across 6 provinces.
  • On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declares the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health event of international concern.
  • On January 25, 2020, Canada confirms its first case of COVID-19 related to travel in Wuhan, China.
  • On January 22, 2020, Canada implements screening requirements related to COVID-19 for travellers returning from China to major airports in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.
  • On January 15, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada activates the Emergency Operation Centre to support Canada’s response to COVID-19.
  • On January 7, 2020, China confirmed COVID-19.
  • On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The virus did not match any other known virus.

Some Measures Taken by the Government of Québec

(Full List)

  • Schools, Colleges, Universities and daycares ordered closed for at least two weeks starting March 16th. (Announced March 13th)
  • Cinemas ordered closed.
  • All non-essential businesses are ordered closed.
  • Schools are cancelled until May 1st. Elementary and High School teachers will evaluate whether someone moves forward based on the work completed to date. College and University courses will be completed online.
  • Obligatory 14–day quarantine for anyone returning from a trip.
  • March 27th Montreal and Estrie acknowledged as hot zones. For the first time, the government entertains questions about quarantining the island of Montreal during the daily press briefing. The sources of the containment problems: frequent travel between these two regions and the United States, especially New York, in the past weeks; high population density in Montreal; and most importantly, people not respecting the fucking quarantines. The result is that in some areas of the island first and second generation transmission from travellers is becoming community transmission.
  • March 28th, road controls were set up to the east and to the north of Quebec City. If you don’t live in these areas, you don’t get through the controls.
  • March 31st, there are more than 500 “Old Folks’” homes with at least one case of infection. This is a catastrophe and the government is scrambling to clamp down on the outbreaks. At least initially, it appears that at least some infections are caused by family not respecting the isolation orders and (sneaking in to) visit elderly relatives.
  • April 2nd, the PM encourages the police to be less tolerant of people who are breaking social distancing orders/guidelines, authorizes fines ranging from 1000$ to 6000$.

…after a long break of not keeping track…

  • May 12th, La Presse prints a story suggesting all CEGEP courses will be online in the fall. No official word, but this is the first time the behind the scene hints from the ministry are stated publicly as likely to occur.
  • May 22nd, the college sends out official word: classes will be online in the Fall.