COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Thursday
'Things are going in the right direction over the past 10 days,' Legault says
- Quebec reported 1,624 new cases on Thursday and 66 more deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 248,860 confirmed cases and 9,273 people have died.
- There are 1,453 people in hospital (a decrease of 14), including 216 in intensive care (the same as a day earlier).
- 11,950 doses of vaccine were administered on Wednesday. A total of 186,210 doses have been administered since Dec. 14.
- CBC Montreal is collecting stories from Quebecers who have recovered from COVID-19. If you would like to share your experience, please get in touch.
Premier François Legault says he's encouraged by the declining number of daily cases, though he cautions it's too early to think about lifting restrictions.
"Things are going in the right direction over the past 10 days but we need to reduce the number of hospitalizations," he said at a news conference Thursday.
Legault said he's still concerned about travellers bringing back the virus from abroad, and if non-essential flights aren't banned by the federal government then he may look at forcing Quebecers to quarantine in a hotel, at their own expense, after returning home.
He also reiterated he won't relax how curfew rules are applied to homeless people in Montreal, after a man died over the weekend.
"Our police officers know very well the reality of the homeless. They won't give them tickets for fun," he said, after offering his condolences.
On Wednesday, federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said the death could have been avoided and joined Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante in asking Quebec to be more lenient with the city's homeless population.
The body of Raphaël André, a man originally from the Innu community of Matimekush-Lac John, was found in a portable toilet.
- If vacation trips aren't banned, Legault wants those returning to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense
Meanwhile, the pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and experts say it's important to remember that there is a lot right now that is beyond our control.
If you have been feeling isolated, we've compiled some ways to help cope as part of a special CBC Quebec project called Out of the Dark: Real Talk on Mental Health.
Top COVID-19 stories today
- Pfizer's delivery slowdown forces Quebec to adjust vaccination targets.
- Citing threat from COVID-19 variants, Quebec calls on Ottawa to ban vacation travel.
- CBC's interactive coronavirus tracker with cases, hospitalizations and vaccinations across Canada
- Quebec plans to use rapid tests, days after health minister said they weren't needed.
- Montreal will start vaccinating homeless population after spike in COVID-19 cases.
- Here's a list of acceptable reasons for being out after curfew in Quebec.
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).
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.
Quebec government reminders for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible. Wearing a mask 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.