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

Quebec is bringing back its curfew and a ban on virtually all indoor gatherings as of New Year's Eve. Here is what you need to know.

Quebec reinstates curfew, bans gatherings of more than one household

Health Minister Christian Dubé announced Tuesday that asymptomatic health-care staff who tested positive for the virus would be able to return to work in order to protect hospital capacity.  (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 14,188 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and nine new deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 586,607 confirmed cases and 11,711 people have died.
  • There are 939 people in hospital (an increase of 135 from the previous day), including 138 in intensive care (an increase of 16). 
  • The province has administered 14,995,780 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday.
  • 89 per cent of the eligible population in the province (ages five and up) has received one dose of vaccine, 82 per cent has received two doses, and 15 per cent have received three doses.

*Quebec's Health Ministry does not publish the number of vaccines administered on weekends and public holidays. It will not be publishing daily COVID-19 data on Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and 2.


Quebec is once again imposing a curfew in an effort to curb the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, as well as closing restaurant dining rooms, delaying the reopening of schools and closing non-essential businesses on Sundays. 

Indoor gatherings involving more than one household bubble will also be prohibited. The new restrictions will take effect Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. 

The province's health-care institute also released its latest hospitalization projections today. Models based on data collected between Dec. 18 and 24 show that both the number intensive-care patients and total hospitalizations could double within three weeks. 

Of the new cases confirmed this week, 643 are at high risk of hospitalization, including 191 needing intensive care. Most patients (64 per cent) live in the greater Montreal area, and people age 70 and over represent 49 per cent of hospitalizations.

The number of cases in the province continues to spike, with a 172 per cent increase compared to the previous week. The spike in cases is most noticeable among 18- to 39- year-olds (+298 per cent). 

The strain on the health-care system has led Quebec to create a four-level system determining when health-care workers who have tested positive for the disease can return to work.

Website for screening appointments fixed

Quebec's website to book appointments for a COVID-19 PCR test is operating again after it erroneously scheduled 15,000 appointments, causing clinics to turn people away Wednesday morning. 

A spokesperson for the Health Ministry says the website's high traffic led to technical issues that caused the website to book more appointments than testing centres could handle.

The province is asking Quebecers to only go to a testing clinic when you are showing COVID-19 symptoms and do not have access to a rapid test. 

Who should and shouldn't get tested at a COVID-19 screening centre in Montreal

5 months ago
Duration 0:58
Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin says people should avoid going to a testing centre unless they have symptoms. Positive case contacts and people who have received positive rapid tests should avoid overrunning the testing centres, she says.

No more rapid tests in Quebec pharmacies

Quebec pharmacies have run out of rapid tests, according to a group representing pharmacist-owners, the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires

The association's president told Radio-Canada that more rapid tests likely won't be available until next week, and when those tests will be delivered has yet to be confirmed. 

"It does not help to contact us to try to get some," said Benoit Morin. "There are none at the moment."

Montreal hotel for homeless population

The city of Montreal has requisitioned a hotel to help alleviate pressure on the health-care network and support community organizations accommodating COVID-19 patients who are experiencing homelessness. 

The hotel, run by the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal and the Old Brewery Mission, will offer 111 places to those living with homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19 and do not need to be hospitalized, as well as those awaiting test results and those in need of a place to self-isolate. 

Top COVID-19 stories

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
  •    
  • 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.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here

 

With files from The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada

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