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

Those living in long-term care homes and other seniors' residences will get a bit more freedom, after family members criticized a preventive 10-day isolation policy. Health Canada has also approved the use of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for Canadian adults. Here's what you need to know.

Restrictions loosened in seniors' homes, Health Canada approves Novavax vaccine

A resident watches television at CHSLD Rose-de-Lima seniors residence Friday, March 12, 2021 in Laval, Quebec. Starting Monday in private care homes, up to 10 residents will be able to dine at the same table and can receive up to 10 visitors. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)
  • On Thursday, Quebec reported 1,902 people in hospital (a decrease of 93 from the previous day), including 124 in intensive care (a decrease of five from the previous day).
  • The province reported 2,055 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 906,629 confirmed cases and 13,812 people have died.
  • Due to a technical problem Thursday, the province said it was not able to present updated vaccination data. Quebec reported Wednesday a total of 18,243,280 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered. 
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (aged five and up) have received one dose of the vaccine; 86 per cent have received two doses, and 50 per cent have received three doses.

*The new cases are those reported to the Quebec government only. They are believed to be an underrepresentation of the virus's spread, given the limited availability of PCR tests and use of home testing kits.

To date, every COVID-19 vaccine that has entered the arm of a Canadian has been produced outside the country. That's about to change.

A Montreal-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use by Health Canada. 

The vaccine called Nuvaxocid, created by Novavax, can be given to Canadian adults. Trial data suggests the vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in preventing severe illness and death.

Restrictions loosen in seniors' residences

Quebec seniors living in long-term care homes and other types of seniors' residences should soon see a bit more freedom.

Residents will no longer have to isolate for 10 days if another resident or staff member on their floor tests positive for COVID-19. They will have to isolate for five days if they are in contact with someone for more than 10 minutes who was not wearing a mask and who later tests positive. 

The preventive 10-day isolation policy had been criticized by family members who said their relatives' health declined during the isolation period. 

Residents can expect other COVID-19 restrictions to be scaled back in the coming weeks. By the end of the month, restrictions on the number of visitors will be lifted, and people will be allowed once again to dine in groups, as long as they are physically distanced.

Palais des congrès vaccination site closing

After administering over 440,000 doses, the vaccination site at the Palais des congrès will close on Feb. 24, as demand for doses declines. 

Instead, a new, smaller site will open March 1 near Berri-UQAM Metro station as a "local offer" to reach those who have not yet been vaccinated, the regional health authority responsible for the clinic said.

The new clinic will be located at 955 Maisonneuve Blvd. East. It will have a daily capacity of 500 doses and will be open to the public seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., without appointments. 

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 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


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