Montreal·The Latest

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

Ontario announced it was closing its border with Quebec to all but essential travel. A few hours later, Quebec made a similar decision.

Quebec, Ontario closing borders to prevent spread of variants

Health minister Christian Dubé says he is hopeful the vaccination campaign will be expanded to the province's general population at the end of May. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 1,527 new cases on Friday and seven more deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 334,071 confirmed cases and 10,785 people have died.
  • There are 664 people in hospital (an increase of three), including 167 in intensive care (an increase of eight).
  • 74,927 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 2,223,775 since Dec. 14. 

There will be no non-essential travel allowed between Ontario and Quebec starting Monday.

Premier Doug Ford announced that checkpoints will appear at Ontario's borders between Quebec and Manitoba in an effort to manage the pandemic's third wave. Exceptions include people travelling for work, seeking medical care, transporting goods and exercising Indigenous treaty rights.

Quebec Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault later announced on Twitter that Quebec is doing the same, stopping people from coming in from Ontario.

"We are in discussions with the Ontario government to determine the terms," Guilbault said.

Speaking during a news conference on her side of the border Friday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott anybody coming into his province without a valid reason will be turned back. 

"These are tough but necessary measures to help us overcome this health crisis," she said.

Push for vaccinations

Health Minister Christian Dubé is encouraging Montrealers over the age of 55 to get the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine this weekend. If more people get the shot, the minister says the province could start vaccinating the general population by the end of next month. 

About 200,000 doses of that vaccine currently remain unused. Dubé said finding people to take those shots will speed up the province's vaccination timeline.

"I would love to start giving those appointments in the next few weeks," the minister said. "I think that it would encourage people to see that we are getting closer to vaccinating [everyone] for June 24, just like the premier promised."

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available to all Quebecers between the ages of 55 and 79, except in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. 

New pop-up vaccination clinics opening 

Dubé said trucks with loudspeakers on them will be driving around some Montreal neighbourhoods this weekend advising residents of the new pop-up vaccination clinics where they can get the AstraZeneca shot. 

Residents in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Côte-Saint-Luc and Hampstead ages 55 to 79 can get inoculated with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine at the Saint-Raymond Community Centre, 5600 Upper Lachine Road next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. An appointment is necessary and can be made by calling 514-734-9912.

Eligible residents of Côte-des-Neiges, Outremont, Town of Mount Royal and Westmount will be able to get their shot of AstraZeneca at the Centre de Ressources Communautaire Côte-des-Neiges, 6767 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges next Friday and Saturday. To make an appointment call 514-734-9912.

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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