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

All Quebec adults will soon be able to book their spot for a vaccine. Some of tomorrow's appointments at the Olympic Stadium have been rescheduled or moved due to a protest against public health measures. Here's what you need to know.

'We respect the right to protest but vaccinating is the priority,' health minister says

Moderna will deliver 1 million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in May as Quebec ramps up its effort to vaccinate the general population. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 1,041 new cases on Friday and 13 more deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 349,773 confirmed cases and 10,926 people have died. 
  • There are 592 people in hospital (a decrease of 31), including 164 in intensive care (a decrease of one).
  • 64,514 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 3,014,026 since Dec. 14.

People with appointments to get vaccinated Saturday at Montreal's Olympic stadium will need to either show up earlier than planned or go to a different site altogether because of a planned protest against public health measures.

Protesters are expected to gather near the Big O at some point during the day. Health Minister Christian Dubé made the announcement Friday on Twitter. It's not clear how many appointments will be affected by this change.

"Appointments are being condensed before 10 a.m. and moved to other clinics," Dubé wrote. "It's extremely unfortunate. We respect the right to protest but vaccinating is the priority."

When can you get the shot?

All adults in Quebec will be eligible for a vaccine in the coming weeks. Starting today, Quebecers in their 50s can book their spot through Clic Santé

The schedule is as follows:

  • April 30 - age 50 to 59 

  • May 3 - age 45 to 49

  • May 5 - age 40 to 44

  • May 7 - age 35 to 39

  • May 10 - age 30 to 34

  • May 12 - age 25 to 29

  • May 14 - age 18 to 24

The province is expecting more than 2.5 million doses of vaccine to arrive by the end of May. The majority of the new vaccines are from Pfizer-BioNTech. The vaccine requires two doses.

There is also more vaccine due to arrive from Moderna as well as Johnson & Johnson, which only requires a single dose. 

Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said the remaining AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine will be available to those aged 45 and over. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also likely be available to the same cohort, he said. 

Rapid testing in schools in Quebec City, Chaudière-Appalaches

Elementary schools in the Quebec City region and parts of Chaudière-Appalaches are set to reopen Monday, and the province plans to use rapid COVID tests to limit the risk of outbreaks.

High schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed.

Schools in those regions — and in Outaouais, too — have been closed all month in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus variants. 

The Health Ministry says the tests will be made available at several testing centres in and around Quebec City and Lévis. 

Only people with symptoms can undergo rapid COVID tests. The tests have rarely been used during the pandemic.

Stricter measures in Lower Saint-Lawrence

As of midnight, the public health rules in Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches will also apply to parts of the Lower Saint-Lawrence region.

That means only elementary schools will be open, the curfew will be moved up from 9:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and non-essential businesses will close.

On Friday, there were 59 cases reported in the Lower Saint-Lawrence — that's double the total from Monday. 

These rules will apply in the western part of the region, anywhere from La Pocatière to Rimouski. Mitis, Matapedia and Matane are exempt from the change and will remain at the red alert level.

Dr. Sylvain Leduc, the local public health director, said the region is tied with neighbouring Chaudière-Appalaches for the highest infection rate in the province. 

Leduc said if the region continues to record about 50 new cases per day, there's a risk hospitalizations will go up and ultimately put too much pressure on the health-care system.

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, 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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