Montreal·The Latest

COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Wednesday

The surge in hospitalizations continues, as the province reports more than 1,500 cases for the sixth time in seven days. Here's what you need to know.

Emergency measures in Quebec City extended, will also apply to all of Outaouais and Chaudière-Appalaches

On Tuesday, the province reported that it had administered more than two million vaccine doses since the start of the campaign. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 1,559 new cases on Wednesday and seven more deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 331,031 confirmed cases and 10,763 people have died.
  • There are 660 people in hospital (an increase of 17), including 152 in intensive care (an increase of two).
  • 68,192 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 2,075,808 since Dec. 14. 

For weeks, the increase in the number of cases did not appear to have a major effect on the number of people in hospital because of the virus. Today, Quebec's health minister says, that is no longer the case.

Last Thursday, the province reported 543 hospitalizations. The latest total is 660.

"The rise in cases in recent days is now affecting our hospitalizations," Health Minister Christian Dubé wrote on Twitter Wednesday. 

As a result, some Quebec City hospitals have had to cancel medical procedures this week. 

The strictest public health restrictions in the province will remain in place in Quebec City until at least April 25, and they will also be applied to more municipalities.

Initially, the measures targeted Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau. On Tuesday, the premier said the spread of the virus justified imposing the restrictions on all of Outaouais and Chaudière-Appalaches.

That means schools as well as all non-essential businesses will remain closed and the curfew will take effect at 8 p.m.

Avoid ERs in Montreal

In a rare move, all five health authorities on the Montreal island are urging people to avoid going to emergency rooms. They say ERs are packed and they're asking the population to go to a clinic or call their family doctor if they have minor problems.

As of this morning, the average occupation rate in ERs across the island was at 114 per cent.

Vaccination for people with chronic illnesses

People across Quebec who are 60 and younger and have high-risk chronic illnesses and receive treatments or consult their doctors in hospital are able to book their vaccine appointments. Eligible people who are not able to get the vaccine at a hospital can also get their shot at a pharmacy.

The full list of criteria and guidelines is available here.

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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