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COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Thursday

The Quebec government is looking to reduce the province's surgery wait-list to 100,000 patients by March 2023, and there's confusion at some walk-in clinics. Here's what you need to know.

Quebecers 65 and up can move up 2nd dose appointments today

As of Wednesday, nearly 80 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and up have already received their first vaccine dose or have made an appointment to receive it, said Health Minister Christian Dubé. (Jean-Claude Taliana/CBC)
  • Quebec reported 189 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and two new deaths (none in the last 24 hours). 
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 372,476 confirmed cases and 11,166 people have died. 
  • There are 251 people in hospital (a decrease of six), including 64 in intensive care (an increase of four). 
  • 84,936 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours and 2,777 doses before Wednesday, for a total of 6,385,517 doses administered in Quebec.
  • As of Wednesday, 76 per cent of Quebecers have received one dose of vaccine, and nine per cent have received two doses.

The Quebec government is looking to reduce the province's surgery waiting list to 100,000 patients by March 2023.

Many surgeries were postponed in order to help the province's health network deal with the high number of COVID-19 patients.

Before the pandemic, that list was up to 125,000 patients, but it has since grown. An estimated 145,000 people are now waiting for surgery.

Health officials expect the wait-list to grow to 150,000 by October. At a news conference Thursday, Health  Minister Christian Dubé said he wants the list to stabilize by year's end, but the number won't start falling until 2022.

In recent weeks, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has dropped significantly. There are 251 people in hospital due to the coronavirus, according to the province's latest daily update.

That is the lowest number since late September.

Second dose confusion

Quebecers 65 and over are now eligible to move up their second vaccination appointment through the online booking system Clic Santé.

But some looking to schedule an earlier appointment have faced problems with the website, and there is also confusion at some walk-in clinics. This morning at Palais des congrès some over 65 were told to come back later.

Other clinics have been accepting people who received their first shot more than eight weeks ago, regardless of their age.

In a statement Wednesday, the Health Ministry said seniors who are having trouble moving up their appointment should ask a loved one for help. 

If that doesn't work, there may be missing client data in the computer system. The ministry said those looking for a vaccine can go to a walk-in clinic. The other option is to wait until your original appointment time to get your second does, the ministry said

People waiting for a second dose of Moderna will soon have access. The federal government is expecting seven million doses of this vaccine by the end of the month, which means Quebec will get 1.5 million.

More restrictions to be lifted

The province is further loosening restrictions in much of the province, allowing residents to gather with another household indoors starting next Monday. 

Montreal, Laval and much of the surrounding area will be downgraded to yellow zones

Funerals and weddings with a maximum of 50 people will be allowed, and high school proms will be permitted to take place outdoors with a limit of 250 people. 

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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, vomiting).
  • Sore throat, runny or stuffy nose.
  • Generalized muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.

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 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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