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

The government says Quebecers kept the spread of COVID-19 under control during the month of September. This month, restrictions on venue capacity will be rolled back.

Quebec has a seven-day average of 628 COVID-19 cases

As of Friday, nearly 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Quebec. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)
  • Quebec reported 499 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one new death.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 411,962 confirmed cases and 11,383 people have died.
  • There are 292 people in hospital (a decrease of nine), including 88 in intensive care (an increase of five).
  • 18,121 vaccine doses administered were reported for a total of 12,911,736 doses administered in Quebec.
  • 89 per cent of the eligible population in the province (age 12 and up) has received one dose of vaccine, and 84 per cent has received two doses.

Note: Quebec's Health Ministry does not publish the number of vaccine doses administered over the weekend. 


On Sept. 1, there were 138 COVID-19 patients in the province's hospitals. By the end of the month, the total was 310.

Even though that number more than doubled during the month of September, the Quebec government is pleased with how things are going during the pandemic's fourth wave, Health Minister Christian Dubé said earlier this week.

"Relatively speaking, we had a good month of September," Dubé said during a news conference on Thursday. "I think it's important to acknowledge that."

The daily COVID-19 caseload got heavier during the month of August, but that appears to have plateaud for now. 

On Saturday, Quebec reported 640 cases, leading to a seven-day average of 606. Nearly 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Quebec. 

Restrictions on venue capacity to be lifted

As of Oct. 8, show venues in Quebec will no longer have restrictions on the number of people they take in.

On Thursday, Dubé announced the changes, saying they apply to venues with assigned seating such as cinemas, theatres and amphitheatres — like Montreal's Bell Centre. 

Last summer, the arena was only able to take in 2,500 fans during the Montreal Canadiens hockey team's playoff run. The arena has a capacity of more than 21,000. 

The province's decision also applies to conferences. 

Only people who show proof that they are adequately vaccinated will be allowed entry. Wearing masks will be mandatory while seated, unless a person is eating or drinking. The same rules will apply to outdoor venues.

There are exceptions when it comes to the use of the vaccination passport, however. 

For events such as graduation ceremonies, large meetings and assemblies, proof of vaccination status will not be required — unless the number of people attending surpasses 250. 

Members of choirs and orchestras will be able to gather indoors in groups of up to 100, instead of the current limit of 25.

Change to masking rules for schools

Although the province is encouraged by the recent COVID-19 data, many outbreaks are originating in schools, where a large number of students are unvaccinated because the vaccine has not been approved for people of their age.

As a result, the province announced stricter rules regarding masks.

As of next Monday, masks will be mandatory during gym classes, if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Preschool students will also need to wear masks while sitting on buses with students from other grades. 

These changes will apply to several to the following regions: Montréal,  Montérégie, Laval, the Eastern Townships, the Laurentians, the Lanaudière, the Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches.

Pediatric hospitals team up to avoid ER crowding

Montreal's two main pediatric hospitals, the Children's Hospital at the McGill University Health Centre and Sainte-Justine Hospital, are hoping to reduce crowding in their emergency rooms by developing a phone number for parents to call to get appointments for their sick children. 

Parents are asked to call 514-890-6111 for "a regular follow-up or a non-urgent health problem that requires immediate intervention," said Dr. François Loubert, the chief of Montreal's regional department of general medicine, in a news release Tuesday. 

The goal is to redirect patients between the ages of 0 and 16 to a quick appointment without having to wait for hours in one of the two hospitals' emergency rooms. 

No Janssen single shot vaccine

The federal government has no supply of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to share with the provinces, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have requested tens of thousands of doses of the vaccine as a way of increasing vaccine uptake. Health Canada has approved the viral vector vaccine but says it is not as effective as its mRNA vaccine equivalents from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

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

 

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