Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet tests positive for COVID-19

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has tested positive for COVID-19.

Leader's wife also tested positive earlier this month

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet has tested positive for COVID-19. (Adrian Wyld / Canadian Press)

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has tested positive for COVID-19.

A notice from the party said Blanchet is doing "perfectly well" but will follow Quebec public health instructions and remain in isolation at his residence in Shawinigan until September 26.

Blanchet went into isolation alongside his wife, Nancy Déziel, after she tested positive for COVID-19.

Many of his caucus members and staffers are also in self-isolation as a precaution after a staff member contracted COVID-19.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and his family have been tested for COVID-19 after one of his staff members received a positive diagnosis.

A member of the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) also tested positive on Sept. 10.

The developments come as MPs are set to return to Ottawa for the resumption of Parliament. The session is set to begin Wednesday with a speech from the throne.

There is ongoing debate over how the House of Commons can ensure public health guidelines are followed. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Patty Hajdu have called for virtual voting to allow participation from all MPs who are not present in the Chamber.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said it's important to communicate clearly to MPs what's expected of them in the Commons chamber.

"I don't know how the voting works, quite frankly, but obviously reducing the amount of interactions and maintaining physical distance continues to be a recommended public health measure. I think the key is to make sure there are plans and people understand what to do if they are physically in the same spot," said 

Tam also said MPs should have the option of working remotely "where appropriate" and should continue to follow physical distancing, mask and hygiene protocols.

Ottawa in second wave of COVID-19 infections

Today, Ottawa's medical officer of health said the city is experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Vera Etches said the city's rolling five-day average of the number of people diagnosed daily is now almost 55, surpassing the previous high set in late April.

"It's the speed of the increase that concerns us. We can't sustain a rapid rise in cases," she said.

Etches said the numbers show residents got a bit too "relaxed" in August but she is confident the city can bring the numbers back down again.

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