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

Quebecers aged 40 and above are now eligible to make their third dose appointments through the Clic-Santé platform. The age group became eligible on Monday, and all adult Quebecers will be eligible to make a third dose appointment by next week, Jan. 17.

Quebecers age 40+ can make 3rd dose appointments on Clic-Santé

Third dose appointments are now available to all Quebecers aged 40 or older. Appointments for other age groups will be available in the coming week. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
  • On Monday, Quebec reported 2,554 people in hospital (an increase of 118 from the previous day), including 248 in intensive care (a decrease of nine). 
  • The province reported 10,573 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 new deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 749,866 confirmed cases and 11,966 people have died.
  • On Monday, the province also reported a total of 15,752,494 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered, including 62,722 in the last 24 hours.
  • 89 per cent of the eligible population in the province (ages five and up) has received one dose of the vaccine, 82 per cent have received two doses, and 24 per cent have received three doses.

The new cases represent 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.


Three hospitals in Montreal's north end are now at a Level-4 alert, including Sacré-Coeur hospital. 

The CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal is the fifth regional health board in the province to issue a Level-4 alert — the highest level in the province's contingency plan to cope with COVID-19's strain on the healthcare system. 

Under the measures, hospitals will be able to close emergency rooms, delay up to 80 per cent of their surgeries, and close urgent care departments such as cardiology and trauma centres, redirecting those patients elsewhere. 

Hospitals in the Eastern Townships, the Mauricie and Montérégie-Est are among those who recently moved to Level 4.

The Montreal hospitals affected by the measures as of Monday include Sacré-Coeur, Jean Talon Hospital and the Fleury Hospital. 

While elective surgeries won't be happening, all urgent and semi-urgent surgeries and oncology cases will still be able to go ahead at their hospitals, said a spokesperson with the regional health board in a statement to Radio-Canada. 

Their trauma centres will also remain open. 

The two psychiatric hospitals in the region are not affected by the measures.

Over 200 test positive among the homeless

According to Montreal public health, 216 homeless people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

In recent days, it's climbed to about 50 positive cases a day, with at least 23 known outbreaks in the community.

Last January there were 190 cases declared in the city's homeless population. 

Shelters are struggling to keep up with the demand, with many staying in shelters to isolate now that they have tested positive for the virus. 

600,000 rapid test kits coming to pharmacies this week

Thousands are expected to begin lining up in front of pharmacies all over the province on Tuesday to pick up rapid testing kits that are in high demand. 

It could be a frosty wait. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued an extreme cold warning. Several pharmacy chains have opted to create appointments for rapid test pickups. 

Pharmacies are expected to receive 600,000 kits with five rapid tests each inside. Each person is eligible for one kit. 

Last month, when pharmacies first received the kits, there were long lineups and the tests were scooped up within hours of their deliveries.

The at-home tests have become one of the only ways Quebecers can find out if they are infected with COVID-19 or not, with public PCR testing now reserved to health-care workers and some marginalized groups.

More eligible for third doses

Quebecers aged 40 and above are now eligible to make their third dose appointments through the Clic-Santé platform.

The age group became eligible on Monday, and all adult-aged Quebecers will be eligible to make a third dose appointment by next week, Jan. 17.

Exo warns of delays due to COVID-19

Provincial transit agency Exo is warning customers of delays of services in the coming weeks due to COVID-19. 

"Exo anticipates that the rapid increase in positive cases of COVID-19 will have an impact on its ability to carry out all scheduled bus, train and paratransit departures in the coming weeks," the agency said in a news release Sunday. 

Depending on the availability of staff to provide services, some schedules may be revised in the near future. The transit authority, which oversees transit in the suburbs around the island of Montreal, says each sector may be affected differently.

"Exo therefore encourages its riders to plan their trips by regularly checking the status of service via the digital tools available."

Exo's new schedules will be in effect as of Jan. 10. Its network includes five train lines, 242 bus lines and 61 taxibus lines.

Winter finals for Quebec Games cancelled

Given the public health rules in effect across the province, organizers of the Quebec Games say they have no choice but to cancel this year's winter finals.

About 3,300 athletes and 2,500 volunteers were expected to attend the 10-day event in March in Rivière-du-Loup, located in the Lower Saint-Lawrence region.

The start of the event was originally scheduled for Feb. 26, but it was recently pushed back to March 4. 

At this point, however, organizers say they have to protect the health of everyone involved, as well as the community.
They also say partners are evaluating their options including holding the event in 2023.

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 La Presse Canadienne, Radio-Canada and Franca Mignacca

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