COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Monday
45 per cent of children aged 5-11 in Montreal have received a first dose
- Quebec reported 15,293 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 15 new deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 651,328 confirmed cases and 11,760 people have died.
- There are 1,396 people in hospital (an increase of 165 from the previous day), including 181 in intensive care (an increase of 19).
- The province has administered a total of 15,329,401 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Saturday.
- 89 per cent of the eligible population in the province (ages five and up) has received one dose of vaccine, 82 per cent have received two doses, and 17 per cent have received three doses.
Starting Monday, Canadian Armed Forces personnel will be deployed in Quebec to assist in the province's vaccination efforts, as the health-care system struggles with rising hospitalizations.
About 200 military personnel will be participating, but only a few are medical staff. The vast majority will be assisting with planning and logistical tasks related to the vaccination campaign in several regions including Montreal, Laval and the Eastern Townships.
Curfew dog walking exemption returns
Dog owners are officially able to walk their dogs after curfew again.
The Quebec government reintroduced the exemption Sunday night, after concerned pet owners drew attention to the discrepancy between this year's curfew and the previous one.
The decree specifying the terms of the new curfew originally said that leaving one's house between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to walk a dog was not a valid reason for breaking curfew.
5-11 vaccination lags in some boroughs
Vaccination rates for children age 5 to 11 can be wildly different depending on where you live on the island of Montreal, according to Montreal public health.
Overall, only about 45 per cent of children between the ages of five and 11 in Montreal have received a first dose.
Some areas have very high vaccination rates for the group, such as Montreal-West, where 73.6 per cent of children in the age group have received one dose.
However, that isn't the case across the city. Only about 21.2 per cent of children aged five to 11 in Saint-Léonard have had a first dose as of Dec. 20.
Dr. Olivier Drouin, a pediatrician at St-Justine Hospital, said there were many reasons for the discrepancy, including the fact that many parents still have questions about vaccination.
Drouin said the province should be doing more to encourage vaccination, including bringing vaccination centres to common neighbourhood areas, like parks and community centres.
Surgeries postponed in Quebec City
The Quebec City region's hospital network announced Sunday that it will be postponing about 44 per cent of surgeries so it can free up 60 more nurses to treat COVID patients.
It is also delaying other non-urgent procedures and converting several medical appointments into phone consultations.
The head of the hospital network, Martin Beaumont, said it was already operating with about 600 less health workers than it needed, and now has about that number in isolation due to the virus.
He asked people to be patient and compassionate with the network's exhausted staff.
"The elastic is extremely stretched — so much so that you can see the white in the middle," Beaumont said.
Anyone with questions about changes in their appointment or surgery can call 418-649-5654, an information phone line open from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
No isolation for kids in contact with COVID-positive peers
In a new directive quietly passed on to childcare services by the Quebec government Friday, children and staff in daycares across the province who have been in contact with a positive case at the daycare will no longer have to isolate and will be able to remain in the centre if they have no symptoms.
Those who are asymptomatic are also not required to get tested.
Until now, those who had been in close contact with a positive case, including educators, had to self-isolate for 10 days.
Masks are also not required for children in childcare centres, even if they have been in contact with a COVID-positive person.
Top COVID-19 stories
- Quebec's new restrictions have been met with mixed reactions
- Experts warn outbreaks in Quebec's long-term care homes could get worse before they improve
- Quebec sees record number of kids in hospital with COVID-19
- Here's how Quebec plans to keep some COVID-infected, exposed essential workers on the job
- Several Montreal hospitals restrict visitors amid soaring COVID-19 cases
- What to do if you think you have the Omicron variant
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, vomiting).
- Sore throat
- Generalized muscle pain.
- 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.
With files from La Presse Canadienne, Radio-Canada and Franca Mignacca