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COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know this weekend

A study out of Montreal's Heart Institute suggests colchicine may be effective in helping COVID-19 patients stay away from hospitals. Meanwhile, cases in the province appear to be decreasing. Here's what you need to know.

A new study out of Montreal suggests anti-inflammatory drug could keep COVID-19 patients out of hospitals

A pedestrian crosses Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal this week. (The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 1,457 new cases on Sunday and 41 more deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 253,633 confirmed cases and 9,478 people have died.
  • There are 1,327 people in hospital (a decrease of 56), including 219 in intensive care (an increase of three).
  • 9,715 doses of vaccine were administered on Friday. A total of 210,252 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.

A study out of Montreal's Heart Institute suggests a widely available anti-inflammatory drug may be effective in helping COVID-19 patients stay away from hospitals and survive the disease. 

Researchers studied 4,500 people suspected of having COVID-19 — 4,200 of whom had tested positive for the infection with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The study found the anti-inflammatory drug, colchicine, reduced the chance of death or hospitalization by 21 per cent when compared to a placebo. 

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christian Dubé said on Twitter Sunday the number of cases in the province appears to be decreasing compared to the past two weeks. 

The province is now averaging 1,560 cases per day. It was averaging around 2,500 at the start of the month.

Dubé says while this is promising, Quebecers need to keep following COVID-19 guidelines closely to make sure the number of hospitalizations and deaths decrease as well. 

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

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).  

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.

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


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