COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know this weekend
Back to red-zone restrictions for the Eastern Townships after recent spike in cases
- Quebec reported 960 new cases on Sunday and six more deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 358,134 confirmed cases and 10,987 people have died.
- There are 539 people in hospital (a decrease of eight), including 124 in intensive care (a decrease of six).
- 74,694 vaccine doses were administered on Saturday for a total of 3,718,074 since Dec. 14.
The Eastern Townships has once again been classified as a red zone, meaning bars, restaurant dining rooms and gyms will close there starting on Monday.
Public health authorities are particularly concerned about the area in and around Lac-Mégantic, where the case rate has jumped to 962 per 100,000 people, the highest rate in the province (Montreal has a rate 118 per 100,000).
Last week, the Lac-Mégantic area was placed under emergency lockdown measures. High school students will be learning online and non-essential businesses will be closed, at least until May 17.
The provincial government had eased restrictions in the Townships in mid-March, giving it orange zone status.
"The number of cases has been gradually increasing toward red for several weeks," the region's public health director, Dr. Alain Poirier said.
Door-to-door campaign aims to get people vaccinated
Community organizations and public health workers in Montreal have been going door-to-door to provide residents with multilingual information on the COVID-19 vaccines.
The goal is to inform people of their options in neighbourhoods with lower vaccine uptake — especially where residents have lower income, are more isolated and do not have easy access to internet.
So far, Montreal has been largely successful in its vaccination campaign. More than 80 per cent of people who are 65 and over have gotten at least one dose, and in the lower age groups that number is climbing as more doses are made available.
Sleepaway camps will open this summer
Quebec will allow sleepaway camps to operate this summer, with special measures in place.
Day camps had already been given the green light to open. The province also announced earlier this week that counsellors are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, provided they have proof of employment.
Top COVID-19 stories
- Eastern Townships headed back into red zone amid rise in cases, hospitalizations.
- 4th wave of COVID-19 likely if Canada reopens too fast — and seasonal return may be inevitable.
- Quebec aims to offer COVID-19 vaccine to teens before end of school year.
- Here's how Montreal has so far avoided a disastrous 3rd wave.
- How a school outbreak in a small Gaspé town has almost a fifth of residents isolating.
- The debate over vaccine passports is here.
- Young people forced to get creative as COVID-19 disrupts summer job plans yet again.
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, vomiting).
- Sore throat, runny or stuffy nose.
- Generalized muscle pain.
- 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.