COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on this weekend
Number of people in hospital due to the virus continues to drop
- Quebec reported 1,006 new cases on Sunday and nine deaths, though eight deaths occurred between April 25 and 30 and one before April 25.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 351,880 confirmed cases and 10,933 people have died.
- There are 574 people in hospital (a decrease of four), including 157 in intensive care (a decrease of two).
- 49,609 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 3,218,214 since Dec. 14.
The number of people in hospital due to the virus continues to drop.
Since Wednesday, the number of hospitalizations reported by the province has gone from 643 to 578.
Premier François Legault told Quebec's nurses, teachers and elderly care workers on Sunday that the government had no money left in its coffers to offer them pay raises much higher than inflation.
On Saturday, protesters, most not wearing masks, gathered in Montreal to demonstrate against Quebec's public health restrictions such as the curfew.
When can you get the shot?
All adults in Quebec will be eligible for a vaccine in the coming weeks.
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.
Outaouais hospitals exceed capacity
Hospitals in the Outaouais region are seeing a surge in emergency room visits, and the regional health authority says hospitals in Maniwaki, Gatineau and Hull are well over capacity.
On Friday, Maniwaki Hospital saw an occupancy rate of 150 per cent of patients at its emergency department, while Hull Hospital saw 140 per cent. Gatineau Hospital's emergency department was under similar pressure.
Health officials said the cause is both the number of COVID-19 patients, but also people with severe health problems.
They said the congestion is also in part because of an influx of patients with side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Experts are reminding people that side effects are normal and expected.
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 — as well as in the Outaouais — have been closed all month in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus variants.
Stricter measures in Lower Saint-Lawrence
The hard-hit Lower Saint-Lawrence region is now under the same public health rules as Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches.
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.
Top COVID-19 stories today
- Deaths and hospitalizations are down among older people, as the vaccination campaign ramps up.
- Here's how Montreal has so far avoided a disastrous 3rd wave.
- A day in the ICU at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital.
- An 'insensitive' vaccination notice was a painful reminder of father's COVID-19 death.
- Federal modelling data suggest lockdowns have slowed COVID-19 spread.
- Health Canada to start real-time review of Medicago COVID-19 vaccine.
- Quebec is planning to use a different vaccine for the 2nd dose in some cases. Here's what the experts say.
- What we know about the coronavirus variant contributing to India's surging caseload.
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.