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

Quebec health officials announced people who come into close contact with a COVID-19 case no longer need to isolate at home, provided they have no symptoms. Meanwhile, graduation events can go ahead normally this year. Here's what you need to know.

Quebec gives green light to high school proms, scraps isolation for close COVID-19 contacts

While proms in some areas did take place during the pandemic, such as this one in El Paso, Texas, the annual tradition had been largely disrupted in Quebec. (Paul Ratje/AP Photo)
  • On Thursday, Quebec reported 1,162 people in hospital (a decrease of 60 from the previous day), including 68 in intensive care (a decrease of one from the previous day).
  • The province reported 1,267 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 933,443 confirmed cases, and 14,141 people have died.
  • The province also reported Thursday a total of 18,497,524 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered, including 6,563 doses in the last 24 hours. 
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (aged five and up) have received one dose of the vaccine; 87 per cent have received two doses, and 52 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.

People in Quebec who come into close contact with a COVID-positive case no longer need to isolate at home, provided they have no symptoms. 

They're urged to avoid infecting others over 10 days following contact, by monitoring their symptoms, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a mask and avoiding going to places where they would need to remove their mask, such as bars and restaurants. 

Quebec public health officials made the announcement Thursday. They said while the epidemiological situation in the province allows for the easing of more restrictions and points to better days ahead, Quebecers must remain vigilant. 

"The pandemic isn't over," said Dr. Luc Boileau, interim director of public health for Quebec. "The virus is still there and it's doing damage every day, particularly to the most vulnerable."

Proms are back on

After two years of disruptions, delays and outdoor ceremonies, Secondary Five students in Quebec will be able to celebrate high school graduation with a regular prom this spring.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge made the announcement in a tweet Thursday morning. 

"I want to acknowledge everyone's resilience in allowing the 2022 graduating class to celebrate this rite of passage," he wrote. 

After proms were cancelled in 2020, the government allowed them to go ahead last year, but only outdoors.

Pandemic brought out the worst in Canadians: study

The majority of Canadians say two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted their lives, pulled Canadians further apart, brought out the worst in people and weakened their compassion for one another.

These are the findings of a new survey, carried out by the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with CBC, that coincide with the two year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the worldwide outbreaks of COVID-19 a pandemic.

About 41 per cent of Canadians say that since the pandemic, "life overall" is worse, compared to 23 per cent who say it is better. 

Phasing out masks in Quebec

Most elementary and high school students in Quebec, including in Montreal, are no longer required to wear masks in class. 

The relaxing of the measure this week is the province's first step toward lifting other mask mandates.

Quebec's interim public health director has said that as early as next month, wearing masks would become a matter of personal choice rather than an obligation.

Masking in public spaces is expected to be phased out by mid-April, and for public transit, by sometime in May. 

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