Montreal·The Latest

COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know this weekend

The surge in cases continues, with the province eclipsing 1,700 new infections in its latest report. The premier says an earlier curfew in Montreal and Laval can help slow down the spread, but many experts and observers question the strategy. Here's what you need to know.

Curfew goes back to 8 p.m. tonight in Montreal and Laval

People wait in line outside the vaccination centre at ExpoCité convention centre in Quebec City at sunrise Sunday. (Olivier Bouchard/Radio-Canada)
  • Quebec reported 1,535 new cases on Sunday and five more deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 326,383 confirmed cases and 10,742 people have died.
  • There are 608 people in hospital (an increase of 25), including 139 in intensive care (an increase of one).
  • 59,447 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 1,890,476 since Dec. 14. (The total number has been corrected here; an earlier version of this article listed the total doses received by the province rather than doses administered.) 

Health authorities in Quebec City say the first night vaccination session was a resounding success.

People started lining up as of 9 p.m. Saturday outside the ExpoCité convention centre to get their appointment times.

According to the Capitale-Nationale CIUSSS, all 950 available appointments were filled, and as of midnight Sunday, they all had been honoured.

In its latest COVID-19 update, the province reported 1,754 new cases — the highest total since Jan. 17.

The Quebec City region continues to be the hardest hit area of the province, with more than 400 cases reported Saturday, the third consecutive day.

Emergency measures in Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau, as well as towns in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, have been extended until at least April 19.

As of this weekend, most people living in orange and red zones are prohibited from travelling to yellow and green zones, and could face fines if they don't comply.

There are eight specific exceptions, including people travelling for medical reasons, commercial transportation, and people who need to take care of a primary or secondary residence.

Meanwhile, the 9:30 p.m. curfew in Montreal and Laval is a thing of the past. As of Sunday, curfew is back to 8 p.m.

And as of Monday, people age 60 and younger who have high-risk chronic illnesses and receive treatments or consult their doctors in hospital will be able to book their vaccine appointments.

All health-care workers can get vaccine

As of Saturday, all health-care workers in the public and private sector can sign up for a first dose of the vaccine, Quebec's Health Ministry says.

That includes people who work in pharmacies and dental offices, those who work in psychology, physiology and optometry clinics, and community workers in direct contact with high-risk patients, such as street workers in mental health, homelessness and addiction. 

The Health Ministry says these groups would have been vaccinated earlier in the campaign had it not been for the reduction in the delivery of doses.

Top COVID-19 stories today

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • Fever. 
  • New or worsening cough. 
  • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea).  

If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 1‑877‑644‑4545 to schedule an appointment at a screening clinic.  

To reserve an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go on the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.

Quebec government reminders for preventing the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible. Wearing a mask is mandatory in enclosed public spaces across the province.
  • Stay at least two metres away from other people as much as possible. 
  • Self-isolate for 14 days after returning from a stay outside the country.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here

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