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

Coming up today: the province's plan to vaccinate children age five to 11, and an ombudsman report into long-term care during the first wave of the pandemic.

Premier hopeful parents will get their children vaccinated

Quebec Premier François Legault (centre) and Health Minister Christian Dubé (right) will announce the vaccination plan for children aged five to 11 tonight at 5 p.m. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec reported 699 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and five new deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 440,462 confirmed cases and 11 565 people have died.
  • There are 203 people in hospital (a decrease of one), including 46 in intensive care (same as yesterday). 
  • As of Tuesday, the province has administered 13,478,504 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (age 12 and up) has received one dose of vaccine, and 88 per cent has received two doses.

Note: Quebec's Health Ministry does not publish the number of vaccines administered on weekends and public holidays. 


The Quebec government is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 — but Premier François Legault says he doesn't want to pressure anyone.

"Vaccination will help us keep our schools open and … children will be able to hug their grandparents safely," Legault said. He said the main reason, though, is to prevent any long-term health problems related to COVID-19 in children.

Vaccine appointments for children aged five- to 11-years old can now be booked on the Clic-Santé website.

Parents can reserve a spot for their children for as early as Wednesday. Siblings can be booked together in a single time-slot, and parents can check a box to to signal if their child is nervous about the process.

Canada received its first doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children on Sunday, with vaccinations in Quebec potentially starting as early as this week.

The shots, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, are meant for kids aged five to 11. Some 650,000 children in Quebec are eligible for the shot.

Long-term care ombudsman report

Quebec's ombudsman submitted her final report into what went wrong in the province's long-term care homes during the first wave of the pandemic, saying residents were "cast aside" and imploring the government to right its wrongs by making recommended changes immediately. 

Marie Rinfret says she is asking Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé to provide her with ongoing progress updates, starting this spring, until all 27 recommendations in her report are implemented.

Most of the 3,890 deaths in Quebec during the first wave were among CHSLD residents, while staff watched helplessly, fled the overwhelming conditions or were themselves sick with the virus.

Officials knew how under-resourced long-term care homes were before the pandemic, Rinfret said, yet failed to act accordingly in the first wave. She also highlighted the fact that the homes were expected to deliver services similar to hospitals, despite lacking the expertise and personnel to do so.

Staff and personal protective equipment were transferred to hospitals, but the type of patient surge they expected never came. At the same time, hundreds of seniors were dying in long-term care facilities.

Reduce gathering sizes before holidays

The premier also asked Quebecers to follow public health guidelines about indoor gatherings, if they hope to have a normal holiday season.

During his news conference Tuesday afternoon, Legault reminded people that the current limit for an indoor gathering is 10 people.

He said he hopes to be able to loosen those rules for the holiday season, but added that people needed to do their part now and respect current guidelines for that to happen.

3rd dose for seniors  

This month, the Quebec government is allowing people aged 70 and over to book an appointment for their third COVID-19 vaccine. People aged 80 and up can already sign up.

The province's immunization committee, the CIQ, has recommended that Quebecers in that age group be offered a third dose in order to boost their immunity against the virus.

People aged 75 to 79 were able to start their third doses last week, and those 70 and older can do so starting today.

However, a period of six months has to have elapsed since the person's second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

People who have had two doses of AstraZeneca will be eligible to make an appointment for a third dose as of Thursday.

Seniors in long-term care homes will also receive a third dose by the end of November, the health minister said. 

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 quebec.ca/covidvaccine. 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 and Radio-Canada

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