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

Today is the last day of Quebec's mandatory mask mandate. Here's what you need to know.

After nearly 2 years, the province's mandatory mask mandate comes to an end

Quebec's mandatory mask mandate ends on Saturday, after nearly two years of being continuously enforced. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
  • On Friday, Quebec reported 1,754 people in hospital (a decrease of 67 from the previous day), including 59 in intensive care (a decrease of one from the previous day).
  • The province reported 900 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 deaths. 
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,056,177 confirmed cases, and 15,256 people have died.
  • The province also reported 6,115 health-care workers absent for COVID-related reasons.
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (aged five and up) has received at least one dose of the vaccine; 54 per cent have received a third dose and 12 per cent have received a fourth dose.

*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.

*Quebec's Health Ministry no longer reports COVID-19 numbers on the weekend.

Today is the last day of Quebec's mandatory mask mandate.

As of tonight at midnight, Quebecers won't have to wear masks in most public indoor spaces. The province's mandatory mask mandate has been in place since July 2020, for a total of 21 consecutive months, but officially ends on Saturday, making Quebec the last province to drop its mandate.

Most indoor spaces in a Quebecer's daily life will no longer require a mask, including grocery stores, gyms and restaurants. Masks will still be required on public transit and in hospital settings.

Montreal to end state of emergency

The City of Montreal will not be extending its COVID-19 state of emergency, the administration announced Wednesday.

The state of emergency, Montreal's second during the pandemic, has been in place since last December. However, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante's administration will allow it to expire on May 19.

The state of emergency is only valid for a period of five days, at which point it needs to be renewed. The city renewed it for the 30th time on Wednesday.

The city said that the improving COVID-19 situation, coupled with high vaccination rates, means it no longer needs emergency powers.

Plante said back in December that the state of emergency would  be used to quickly procure protective equipment for the city's essential workers, and prepare sites and facilities to accommodate Montreal's homeless population.

The lifting of the state of emergency comes as restrictions across the board are lifted in the province. The province's indoor mask mandate lifts on Saturday.

Public health on who should get boosters

With the COVID-19 situation in Quebec continuing to improve and the mask mandate ending tomorrow, the province's interim public health director has explained who should be getting their first and second booster shots.

Dr. Luc Boileau said third doses — or the first booster shot — are recommended for all adults, including pregnant women and health-care workers. He said it is also recommended for teenagers aged 12 to 17 who are at high risk of complications from COVID-19, or those that live in congregate settings. 

Fourth doses — or the second booster shot — however, are only recommended for specific groups of people who are at high risk of getting severe COVID. Boileau suggested it might be better to wait until later this summer, in case there is a resurgence of COVID in the autumn.

As of last week, all adults became eligible for fourth doses, but Boileau said there is no recommendation for the general public to receive one.

People are advised to wait at least three months from their last dose of vaccine or COVID-19 infection to receive a booster shot. 

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.

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

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