COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Tuesday
The premier warns that 5 regions are problematic and could see tougher restrictions
- Quebec reported 864 new cases on Tuesday and seven new deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 310,066 confirmed cases and 10,658 people have died.
- There are 487 people in hospital (an increase of 10), including 126 in intensive care (an increase of six).
- 42,771 doses of vaccine were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 1,305,840 since Dec. 14.
Premier François Legault says five regions of the province are seeing a rise in cases of COVID-19 and the government will be watching them closely to see if tighter restrictions need to be put in place.
The regions are:
- The Outaouais, particularly the city of Gatineau.
- Quebec City.
- Lac-St-Jean, particularly Roberval.
- The Beauce.
- The Lower Saint-Lawrence, particularly Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski.
Legault also said the province would shift vaccines to harder hit regions, and that the suspension of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for those 55 and under won't jeopardize the June 24 target to have everyone receive a dose.
Legault said he believes that the vaccine is safe for people over 55, and he noted there have been very few complications overall.
"The greater risk is to refuse to be vaccinated," he said. Still, the government's online booking site will now clearly mark which sites are stocked with AstraZeneca so people can decide if they want to take it.
Quebec's public health institute, the INSPQ, also issued a new recommendation that people in workplaces wear masks at all times. The INSPQ said the coronavirus variants are more easily transmitted, and potentially more virulent.
Experts have raised concern the province is reopening too quickly, with high school students back in class full time and gyms open once again in red zones.
Several school boards have argued it's not safe to do so, and have decided to keep alternating between going to school and learning from home.
Top COVID-19 stories today
- Quebec suspends giving doses of AstraZeneca to those under 55, though no issues reported in Canada
- Quebec has entered 3rd wave of COVID-19, health minister says
- Potentially toxic masks were distributed in schools and daycares in Quebec
- VIDEO | How risky is the return to class for Quebec high school students?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- 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.