Quebec Community – Celenire http://celenire.com/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 01:48:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://celenire.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1-150x150.png Quebec Community – Celenire http://celenire.com/ 32 32 First Nations and their allies take on Quebec’s Omicron wave https://celenire.com/first-nations-and-their-allies-take-on-quebecs-omicron-wave/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 14:02:48 +0000 https://celenire.com/first-nations-and-their-allies-take-on-quebecs-omicron-wave/ Many Indigenous communities in Quebec that were spared during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are now seeing the number of cases soar. This is a situation that worries leaders and experts. “It’s a tsunami of cases, which have almost tripled since the beginning of the year,” said Dr. André Corriveau, public health adviser […]]]>

Many Indigenous communities in Quebec that were spared during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are now seeing the number of cases soar. This is a situation that worries leaders and experts.

“It’s a tsunami of cases, which have almost tripled since the beginning of the year,” said Dr. André Corriveau, public health adviser at the First Nations of Quebec and Quebec Health and Social Services Commission. Labrador (FNQLHSSC).

To compound the problem, these same communities have fewer medical resources and face overcrowded housing conditions and many people with underlying health conditions.

In Montreal, Dr. Stanley Vollant, an Innu from the Pessamit community and the first Quebec-born Indigenous surgeon, thinks asymptomatic people likely brought the virus to remote First Nations.

“[It’s] four times, five times higher than the first and second wave of COVID,” Vollant said. “We have to be very careful and aware to protect our elders.

The stealth of the current variant worries him.

“With this very big wave of Omicron, other people who are not very sick but who have to [miss] work can affect the health system,” he said. “And also social security in our communities, like police, firefighters, people in key positions.

Bertie Wapachee, president of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, says the Omicron wave has “stunned” the Cree Nation of Quebec. (Christopher Herodier/CBC)

The underestimated number of cases

The FNQLHSSC says there were a total of 1,414 active cases in 29 First Nations communities as of Friday — and that doesn’t take into account positive results from rapid tests people took at home.

From Wednesday to Friday alone, 575 active cases were reported in the Indigenous communities the commission works with.

In northern Quebec, the Nunavik and James Bay regions have their own health authorities. The Inuit territory of Nunavik last reported 39 new cases on Thursday, for a total of 349 active cases in the region.

On Friday, the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay reported 355 active cases among the 10 Cree communities and seven people hospitalized.

Bertie Wapachee, chief of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, says Omicron hit the Cree Nation of Quebec particularly hard.

“It stunned us…stopped a lot of things for us. The way it spread was like no other [wave], this one was very different.”

Wapachee says COVID cases among health care workers have caused staffing issues in his area, which has only one hospital in the community of Chisasibi, and that Crees who have a serious infection requiring hospitalization should be sent to Val-d’Or or Montreal.

Dr. Corriveau, who was hired as a public health advisor for the FNQLHSSC at the start of the pandemic, says some communities had their first cases with this wave.

Dr. André Corriveau is a public health advisor to the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission. He says many Indigenous communities in the province saw their first cases of COVID-19 during the latest wave of infections. (Canadian Water Network)

Originally from Quebec, Corriveau has worked in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut and the Nunavik region of Quebec, including three years as Alberta’s Chief Public Health Officer. .

So far, he says, most Indigenous people who have caught the new variant are showing mild symptoms, and so far there are only five Indigenous COVID patients in hospital.

While Omicron’s cases appear to be less severe, he says the variant’s transmissibility is concerning – especially in communities where homes are smaller, crowded and leave little room for people to self-isolate.

Higher rates of chronic diseases — such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer — are also concerning, Corriveau said.

“The other vulnerability of our First Nations is the remoteness and fragility of the health system,” he added. “This can quickly evolve into a situation where access to even basic health services is impacted for the community.”

The key to success

At the start of the pandemic, Innu leaders created a crisis unit and began meeting twice a week with Vollant and other doctors from provincial and federal health authorities to share information, discuss strategy and coordinate efforts. regional.

“We can act quickly, we can have better concerted action,” Vollant said. “I think this has been a big key to the success of the Innu communities’ fight against COVID.

Corriveau says the FNQLHSSC acts as a bridge between Indigenous communities and regional public health authorities in Quebec. He says the pandemic has forced the province to interact and collaborate more with First Nations leaders, which he hopes will continue.

“There are many things that cannot be provided at the community level. [They] rely on doctors, hospitals and other services provided by the province,” he said.

A clinic in the Cree community of Nemaska. The spread of COVID has taken health care providers and leaders in the Cree territories by surprise. (Jaime Little/CBC)

Vollant and Corriveau said they will be watching closely to see when community transmission begins to slow. Nunavik and North Shore First Nations have implemented strict travel restrictions and additional public health measures to those imposed by the province.

“It’s not over. This wave is going to last a few weeks, maybe two months,” Vollant said.

Corriveau is more optimistic about what he calls a “very rapidly changing situation”.

“Hopefully we will peak within a week or two and things will gradually start to improve.”

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COVID-19 in Quebec: what you need to know on Friday https://celenire.com/covid-19-in-quebec-what-you-need-to-know-on-friday/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 23:25:54 +0000 https://celenire.com/covid-19-in-quebec-what-you-need-to-know-on-friday/ On Friday, Quebec reported 3,085 people hospitalized (an increase of 91 the day before), including 275 in intensive care (+3). The province has reported 7,382 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 death. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 783,102 confirmed cases and 12,193 people died. On Friday, the province also reported a […]]]>
  • On Friday, Quebec reported 3,085 people hospitalized (an increase of 91 the day before), including 275 in intensive care (+3).
  • The province has reported 7,382 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 death.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 783,102 confirmed cases and 12,193 people died.
  • On Friday, the province also reported a total of 16,195,112 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered, including 108,768 in the last 24 hours.
  • 90% of the province’s eligible population (aged five years and older) received one dose of the vaccine, 82% received two doses and 29% received three doses..

New cases represent those reported to the Quebec government only. They are thought to be an underrepresentation of the spread of the virus, given the limited availability of PCR tests and the use of home test kits.


The Quebec government said CO2 readers would come to classrooms this week to better assess schools’ ventilation needs.

Schools with high levels of CO2 in their classrooms will be able to request an air exchanger from the government. Officials said no request would be denied.

Opening windows was also again recommended, although officials said the temperature in classrooms should not drop below 20C.

As for N95 masks, officials still do not recommend them, saying there are concerns about their correct use or not. The masks had to be adapted to each person and can become uncomfortable after long hours of wearing.

However, the government has said the masks will be made available to those teaching in special schools, where students may not be able to keep up with other measures.

Dr Yves Jalbert, Deputy Director General for Public Health Protection at the Ministry of Health, said most of the time it is teachers who infect students, not the other way around.

He added that transmission in schools reflects the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, and that mask mandates, combined with vaccination, are still the best way to protect against COVID-19 in classrooms.

The government anticipates a “very large number” of teacher absences after students return to class and suggests schools be prepared to quickly replace teachers by keeping a list of people to call in for backup, which could include “parent volunteers”.

Montreal’s 2nd health agency upgrades to level 4

The CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’île-de-Montréal, the health agency covering the south-central part of the city, is moving to level 4 load shedding, which means that some services will be reduced to free up beds and staff to deal with the increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19. It is the second agency in Montreal at this stage.

This means that Notre-Dame and Verdun hospitals will reduce surgeries by more than 50% and could drop to 25% of normal services.

Emergency and oncology services will be preserved, specifies the CIUSSS, as will services for young people and people with intellectual disabilities. Endoscopy services will be slowed down.

Some nurses will be reassigned from outpatient clinics to hospitals and the number of non-urgent appointments will be reduced in family medicine.

The CIUSSS is appealing to volunteers who would like to lend a hand, through the Platform I Contribute. Level 4 defers up to 80% of surgeries and defers some follow-ups.

Some restrictions are easing, more are coming

Legault also announced on Thursday that some restrictions will be eased in the coming days, while bringing in other new measures to combat the Omicron wave of COVID-19.

The province’s second nighttime curfew will end on Monday. Shops in the province, which have been ordered to close on Sundays for two weeks, will be allowed to reopen on Sundays from next week.

The government has also announced that from January 24, customers will be required to present their vaccination passport to shop in big-box stores of 1,500 square meters or more, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, which are closed. considered essential services.

WATCH | François Legault explains why he introduced and then abandoned the curfew:

Ending curfew has nothing to do with politics, popularity or polls, Quebec premier said Thursday

François Legault says the end of the curfew in Quebec on Monday has nothing to do with his government’s declining popularity, while Health Minister Christian Dubé warns the province must reopen gradually and carefully. 2:28

Students requesting distance learning options

Concordia University student leaders are calling on the administration to commit to providing remote learning accommodations that will be accessible to all students after the school announces the resumption of in-person classes on 3 February.

On-campus classes were originally scheduled to resume on January 20, but the date was postponed again on Thursday.

Student leaders want exams, assignments and course materials to remain accessible online, saying many will drop out if they don’t feel comfortable taking classes on campus.

They also want to see the implementation of N95 or KN95 masks on campus if classes resume, mandatory testing for those attending campus, and more flexibility around tuition reimbursement.

“Universities are currently facing the same uncertainties as most sectors of society. In this context, we have tried to provide as much clarity as possible by setting a three-week notice for a return to campus while following the guidelines government,” Vannina said. Maestracci, spokesperson for the university.

“We also met regularly with the Concordia Student Union throughout the pandemic, including before issuing our latest communication to our community yesterday.”

New COVID-19 accommodation guidelines sent this week to teaching staff at McGill University have also raised safety concerns in the community.

The internal document offers flexible grading systems and course registration as a few accommodations available to faculty, but also acknowledges that in some cases it may not be possible to find an “appropriate academic accommodation” for all students. – which means that some may need to withdraw from classes or take a leave of absence if they have safety concerns.

Data shows the peak may be coming soon

Hospitalizations in the greater Montreal area are expected to peak in the coming week, according to projections from the province’s Public Health Research Institute.

INSPQ data released Thursday week shows that hospitalizations and the number of deaths related to COVID-19 are likely to drop soon, depending on the length of patients’ hospital stays and the lag between reported infections and cases. death.

(Radio Canada)

“Given the very high community transmission, the situation remains fragile even if a slowdown in the number of cases and hospitalizations could occur soon,” said Marc Brisson, one of the researchers behind the projections.

The projections are based on different scenarios taking into account the severity of Omicron, the vaccination rate, the population’s adherence to public health measures and the impact of resuming in-person classes.

WATCH | Dr Christopher Labos warns that hospitals remain fragile.

The worst may be behind us, but Quebec still has a long way to go, warns an epidemiologist

Epidemiologist and cardiologist Dr. Christopher Labos warns that even though Quebec has reached the peak of its Omicron wave, hospitals remain fragile. 4:04

Quebecers who have contracted COVID-19 are encouraged to get vaccinated

Quebecers who have recently contracted COVID-19 will be able to receive their third dose as soon as they no longer have symptoms, the government announced on Wednesday – provided it has been three months since their last dose.

The province said anyone who wants a booster shot, including those who have recently had COVID-19, should get one “as soon as possible” to have better protection against the Omicron variant.

The government announced last week that once the entire eligible population has had the opportunity to receive their booster dose, three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be required to use the province’s vaccination passport system.

Currently, two doses are enough to be considered sufficiently vaccinated.

Meanwhile, experts say there is no critical time frame to receive the third dose after infection.

“A month is a reasonable wait time, but if you go a little earlier, a little later, it won’t make a big difference in the immune response,” said Dawn Bowdish, an immunologist at McMaster University. .

Top COVID-19 Stories

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever.
  • New or worsening cough.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sudden loss of sense of smell without stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal problems (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
  • Sore throat
  • Generalized muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Tired.
  • Loss of appetite.

If you think you have COVID-19, the government asks you to call 1 877 644-4545 to make an appointment at a testing clinic.

To make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go to the online portal quebec.ca/vaccincovid. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.

You can find information about COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here.

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COVID-19 cases fill hospital beds in parts of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick https://celenire.com/covid-19-cases-fill-hospital-beds-in-parts-of-quebec-ontario-and-new-brunswick/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 21:29:12 +0000 https://celenire.com/covid-19-cases-fill-hospital-beds-in-parts-of-quebec-ontario-and-new-brunswick/ VANCOUVER – Hospitals in several parts of Canada are under the weight of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with hospitalizations in Quebec reaching an all-time high on Sunday and admissions in Ontario to intensive care units surpassing the 400 mark. New Brunswick hospitals have also hovered near their highest levels since the start of the […]]]>

VANCOUVER – Hospitals in several parts of Canada are under the weight of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with hospitalizations in Quebec reaching an all-time high on Sunday and admissions in Ontario to intensive care units surpassing the 400 mark.

New Brunswick hospitals have also hovered near their highest levels since the start of the pandemic, with 79 people hospitalized, including one in five in intensive care.

Dr Bob Bell, former CEO of the University Health Network and Ontario Deputy Minister of Health from 2014 to 2018, says Canada is in good company when it comes to having its healthcare system tested by COVID-19.

Bell says every western country dealing with Omicron currently has a strained hospital system, but Canada has a lower tolerance for measures like death than places like the United States, so it will pursue lockdowns and restrictions sooner.

Quebec hospital admissions jumped from 140 Sunday to 2,436, and the additional pressure has prompted several hospitals in the province to delay surgeries and medical appointments.

Ontario reported 2,419 hospital patients with the virus on Sunday, down from nearly 2,600 on Saturday – although the province notes that not all facilities share the data over the weekend.

Bell warns that stressed hospitals can also be a symptom of inadequate “upstream” care, such as access to family physicians, home care and community care.

“The hospital is the canary of the coal mine in many ways for the challenges of the healthcare system,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 9, 2022.


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McGill University principal Suzanne Fortier to resign in August https://celenire.com/mcgill-university-principal-suzanne-fortier-to-resign-in-august/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 01:18:19 +0000 https://celenire.com/mcgill-university-principal-suzanne-fortier-to-resign-in-august/ McGill University Director Suzanne Fortier. McGill University principal Suzanne Fortier has announced that she will step down in August, just under a year before her contract expires. Dr. Fortier served as Director for two terms, starting in September 2013. A graduate of the university and former President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, […]]]>

McGill University Director Suzanne Fortier.

McGill University principal Suzanne Fortier has announced that she will step down in August, just under a year before her contract expires.

Dr. Fortier served as Director for two terms, starting in September 2013. A graduate of the university and former President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Dr. Fortier was seen as a leader who would build better relationships. with the provincial government in Quebec City.

“After nearly a decade in this role – and as the University now enters its third century – Principal Fortier felt it was the perfect time to hand over the baton to a new leader who will shape the future of our university, ”said McGill spokesperson Cynthia Lee. in a written statement.

“The decision is his and was taken after careful consideration. Until then, Principal Fortier will continue to help lead our University safely to the port, through what she hopes will be the end of the COVID storm, so her successor can navigate calmer waters. towards a bright future for McGill.

She left shortly after the university marked the bicentenary of its founding. It was named in honor of James McGill, a Scottish fur trader and slave owner whose Burnside estate became the site of the downtown campus of the University of Montreal.

Considering the history of the university is one of the many thorny issues that Dr. Fortier has navigated over the past few years. Since the onset of the pandemic, handling the implications of COVID-19 has dominated all other issues and, in some cases, caused friction between faculty and administrators. McGill did not impose a vaccine mandate, for example, like other Quebec institutions, but this decision drew criticism from some professors.

Dr Fortier was also at the helm during an outcry over an article written by former director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Andrew Potter. Professor Potter resigned his administrative post after his article sparked an intense wave of anger in Quebec, which has led critics to accuse Dr Fortier of failing to adequately defend academic freedom.

Dr. Fortier’s compensation gained attention this year after Le Journal de Montreal announced that she received more than $ 850,000 last year. The university said Dr Fortier’s compensation has always been public and matches that of other directors in the U15 group of research universities. In addition to her base salary, which would have been over $ 470,000, she received an amount accrued under the university’s executive pension plan, said Ms. Lee, the university spokesperson. .

Andrew Kirk, president of the Association of Teachers of McGill University, said professors had varying opinions about Fortier’s tenure, but most would wish her luck. He said she had been a good diplomat for the university to the government of Quebec and the community at large, where McGill is sometimes seen as a distant English-speaking institution that attracts its students from elsewhere in Canada and around the world. .

Professor Kirk said there have been disagreements with professors, especially during the pandemic, but most admit she has a tough job.

“I think she will be remembered for pointing McGill in the right direction,” said Professor Kirk.

Richard Gold, a professor at the law school, criticized McGill’s response to the pandemic on issues such as vaccines, masking and air filtration. He said Dr. Fortier was chosen primarily to improve relations with the provincial government and it is not known exactly what she was able to accomplish.

“It’s time for new leadership that goes beyond ‘Let’s not disturb Quebec City,’ said Professor Gold.

He said an ideal candidate for the post of director would be someone with a global vision like Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University and former dean of McGill, who will end his term in Cambridge in September.

An advisory committee will recommend possible candidates to McGill’s board of governors and a new director is expected to be appointed by the fall, Lee said.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update bulletins are written by the editors of The Globe, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. register today.


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Victim speaks out after being the target of an anti-Asian rant at a Montreal grocery store https://celenire.com/victim-speaks-out-after-being-the-target-of-an-anti-asian-rant-at-a-montreal-grocery-store/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 01:37:00 +0000 https://celenire.com/victim-speaks-out-after-being-the-target-of-an-anti-asian-rant-at-a-montreal-grocery-store/ DISCLAIMER: Some readers may find the details of this story disturbing. Ken Mak was queuing for groceries at an IGA on Nuns’ Island in Montreal on Monday when an unidentified woman, removing her mask from her mouth when speaking, asked if he was Chinese. “I told her ‘yes’ and then she started questioning me and […]]]>

DISCLAIMER: Some readers may find the details of this story disturbing.

Ken Mak was queuing for groceries at an IGA on Nuns’ Island in Montreal on Monday when an unidentified woman, removing her mask from her mouth when speaking, asked if he was Chinese.

“I told her ‘yes’ and then she started questioning me and trying to get some information about the coronavirus,” Mak said.

“Before I could answer, she cut me off and began her monologue on the Chinese responsibility for the whole coronavirus.”

Mak and his girlfriend walked away from the woman, fearing that she would uncover her face several times, and he started recording when an employee intervened.

This video is now going online and Mak is speaking out against racism against Asians. He said some people are misinformed about the pandemic and “she is the victim of misinformation.”

“It’s unfortunate that the Asian community has to put up with this,” Mak said, and he would like to make his fellow Canadians aware that these types of attacks are happening.

“We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and think about our values.”

Woman gives finger, calls people losers

The video shows a woman dressed in sweatpants and a winter parka, showing her middle finger, cursing and threatening to implicate a family lawyer whenever someone stands up to her.

A client can be heard off camera asking the woman to “leave these people alone.” What is wrong with you? Shame on you “.

The woman responds with curses and a finger, raising her voice and continuing her anti-Asian rant. Other clients yell at her, and she points her phone camera at them, calls them losers, and says her family lawyer will protect her.

A store clerk tells him to grab his things and leave. He then accompanies her to the door before the end of the video.

The Quebec minister responsible for the fight against racism, Benoit Charette, spoke out against the racist rant of women on Twitter. (SRC)

The Quebec minister responsible for the fight against racism, Benoit Charette, denounced the video on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Desolating, shocking and condemnable! Behavior of this kind simply has no place in Quebec,” he wrote.

Mak said he was grateful that customers and store employees stood up to him.

“These are real Canadian values, where we protect each other,” he said.

Mak said he was not going to pursue the case with the police, but he felt threatened and he feared for the Asian community.

“People think Asians are responsible for the coronavirus,” he said. “We need people to know that this is happening to Asians here and that it is not acceptable in Canada.”

Fighting anti-Asian hatred

Mak said it is important for people to speak out against this type of racist behavior towards Asians.

“These people are not to blame,” Mak said. “We all live together under the same confinement and the same curfew.”

Winston Chan said there have been physical and verbal assaults against Asian Montrealers since the early days of the pandemic. Watching Mak’s video, the first thing he thought of was “oh no, not yet,” he said.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Montreal chapter of the National Coalition of Canadians Against Anti-Asian Racism.

People are frustrated with the pandemic and the public health measures, but that is no reason to make Asians the scapegoats, Chan said.

“I think it’s important to be an ally of the Asian community in these cases,” Chan said, acknowledging the efforts of employees and customers to defend Mak.

As long as people don’t put themselves in danger, it’s important to speak up for the victims and record the encounter if possible, Chan said.

He said Asians often do not report hate crimes, but he encouraged victims or bystanders to safely collect evidence and file a complaint with the police.


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COVID-19 cases increase during the holidays in Cree communities in Quebec https://celenire.com/covid-19-cases-increase-during-the-holidays-in-cree-communities-in-quebec/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 00:13:00 +0000 https://celenire.com/covid-19-cases-increase-during-the-holidays-in-cree-communities-in-quebec/ Several Cree communities in northern Quebec are grappling with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and community transmission for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020. According to the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, figures released last Monday show 519 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, a […]]]>

Several Cree communities in northern Quebec are grappling with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and community transmission for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

According to the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, figures released last Monday show 519 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, a jump from the 319 cases reported on December 31 and an increase from 34 cases reported Dec 24. . Of these, 474 cases are still active.

“We are currently in a critical phase,” said Grand Cree Chief Mandy Gull-Masty during an emergency live broadcast on December 31, which brought together representatives of the Cree Nation Government, as well as heads of several entities and community leaders.

To illustrate the speed at which the Omicron variant is spreading, on December 21, the Cree Board of Health reported only 11 active cases in Cree communities, all related to travel outside of Eeyou Istchee, the traditional name. of Cree territory.

It is essential that we really follow the protocols.– Mandy Gull-Masty, Great Cree Chief

“It’s critical that we really follow the protocols,” Gull-Masty said in the livestream. “It is a highly contagious disease.

The Cree Board of Health has also confirmed that community spread is now occurring in Eeyou Istchee, meaning a link between the positive cases can no longer be traced.

The race to get ahead of the spread

The board of health carried out rapid tests over the Christmas holidays and many communities have made rapid tests available.

The Cree Board of Health organized the distribution of rapid tests during the Christmas and New Years holidays. (Cree Board of Health)

Cree Health also asks anyone who tests positive to help with contact tracing, according to Dr. Colleen Fuller, a public health and preventive medicine physician at the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, who also participated in the live broadcast. .

“We now have over a thousand people who have been in contact with a positive person,” Fuller said, adding that those who test positive are now urged to take responsibility for contacting anyone they have been in. contact to tell them to isolate immediately and get tested.

As of January 3, there were 1,460 contacts of identified positive cases.

“We really don’t have enough staff,” Fuller said.

Cree leaders and Cree Public Health have recommended that communities return to the first phase of the Cree Pandemic Plan. The first phase prohibits indoor and outdoor gatherings and prohibits inter-community travel, as well as reduces services to essential services only.

Community blocks

As of December 28, the coastal Cree community of Eastmain had not reported any cases of COVID-19. On December 30, four cases were confirmed by rapid testing and on January 2, Chief Kenneth Cheezo took to social media to report that 32 positive cases had been identified by rapid testing and PCR.

“This is the most important time to stay in our bubble… to stay at home as much as possible to reduce risk and limit exposure time,” Cheezo said in the livestream shared Sunday on Facebook.

Kenneth Cheezo, Chief of the Cree Nation of Eastmain, urges people to stay in their bubbles “to reduce risk and limit exposure time.” (Christophe Herodier / CBC)

Eastmain has closed all services except essential services. The band office is closed until January 5 and no one is allowed to leave or enter the community without permission. Returning residents should remain isolated, regardless of their immunization status. The length of the mandatory isolation period for returning residents was unclear and no requests for information were returned. Only essential service workers will be allowed to leave or enter the community.

The other hard-hit Cree communities are Waswanipi, with 108 positive cases on January 1 out of a population of 2,000 inhabitants and Oujé-Bougoumou with 64 positive cases out of a population of only 845. The largest of the Cree communities, Chisasibi, had 49 cases. confirmed. on January 1.

Delayed start of school

The start date for elementary, secondary and adult education students has been pushed back to January 12 and will go online from that date until January 26, according to Sarah Pash, president of the Cree School Board. .

Pash said it is important for parents and guardians to truly support young people and children in their lives.

“We have to make sure we pay attention and focus on young people and children and give them hope, love and optimism,” Pash said.

“And make sure we continue to share the strength they come from.”


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Wastewater could help offset overwhelmed COVID-19 test sites https://celenire.com/wastewater-could-help-offset-overwhelmed-covid-19-test-sites/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 20:09:32 +0000 https://celenire.com/wastewater-could-help-offset-overwhelmed-covid-19-test-sites/ Breadcrumb Links Local news With governments no longer able to keep up with the community’s spread, some researchers say wastewater testing could be an invaluable tool. Author of the article: The Canadian Press Melissa Couto Zuber Water is pumped from one tank to another during the grit removal process at a Montreal wastewater treatment facility. […]]]>

With governments no longer able to keep up with the community’s spread, some researchers say wastewater testing could be an invaluable tool.

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As Quebec and other provinces update their testing guidelines in response to the record increase in new COVID-19 cases, many experts are warning that the daily COVID-19 reports released by these governments no longer provide an precise description of the progress of the pandemic.

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But the content of a community’s wastewater could provide a more accurate picture.

As scientists across the country have tracked the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater since the start of the pandemic, they say this process is particularly valuable as public health authorities struggle to track the spread of the highly variant. transmissible Omicron.

“We have this problem where we have reached the limit of our ability to administer screening tests,” said Mark Servos, researcher at the University of Waterloo. “But sewage doesn’t care if people have been tested or if they are asymptomatic.

“Everyone who goes to the bathroom is included in our analysis. “

The process is tedious and laborious, according to Servos, but results can be achieved in a matter of hours. And while the analysis of wastewater does not provide exact data on the number of COVID-19 cases, it may allow public health officials to identify areas with high contagion rates.

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According to Christopher Mody, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, positive results from PCR tests represent only about one-sixth or one-eighth of the total number of cases. This gap is expected to widen as more people rely on self-administered rapid tests or simply do not get tested.

“We need to know what the real number is,” Mody said, adding that analysis of the wastewater could help make up for the lack of data. “I would say that wastewater is an extremely useful tool in assessing the magnitude of the disease burden. “

In addition to measuring the extent of transmission, the researchers say that regular wastewater testing for COVID-19 would allow public health officials to identify dominant variants in the community.

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Data collected last week in Saskatoon, for example, showed an 87.7% increase in viral load in the city’s wastewater, including a peak of 808.2% in the presence of the Omicron variant.

Despite the potential benefits of wastewater testing in Quebec, where various factors have led to the underreporting of new COVID-19 cases, the province recently stopped funding a project doing just that.

Sarah Dorner, a professor at Polytechnique Montreal who had helped lead the research on COVID-19 wastewater samples, said funding for the six-month pilot project ended in early December.

“We had no more funding to continue,” she wrote in an email, adding that her team had observed “a rapid increase in SARS-CoV-2” in Montreal wastewater just before the shutdown. of the project.

“Public health is no longer interested,” Dorner told the Montreal Gazette at the time.

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Today’s coronavirus news in Toronto, Ontario, December 31 https://celenire.com/todays-coronavirus-news-in-toronto-ontario-december-31/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 15:52:46 +0000 https://celenire.com/todays-coronavirus-news-in-toronto-ontario-december-31/ The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available. 10:30 Restaurants in Canada are scaling back their plans for New Years Eve again or shutting their doors completely amid rising COVID-19 cases and renewed public health measures across […]]]>

The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:30 Restaurants in Canada are scaling back their plans for New Years Eve again or shutting their doors completely amid rising COVID-19 cases and renewed public health measures across the country.

For the second year in a row, the pandemic has alleviated what is usually one of the biggest nights of the year – a celebration that, in good times, generates sales that help the hospitality industry through the winter months. gloomy.

Restaurants, bars and event venues face a range of restrictions, from capacity limits to rules banning dancing and absolute curfews.

Many restaurant owners are now grappling with canceled reservations or refunded tickets as the highly transferable variant of Omicron decimates the festive plans of Canadians who just weeks ago seemed like a safe bet.

10:22 Ontario is reporting 16,713 new cases of COVID-19, with 1,144 people hospitalized and 205 people in intensive care. The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 patients in intensive care is 185.

90.8% of Ontarians aged 12 and over have one dose and 88.1% have two doses.

Note: This will be the last day that Star focuses on the number of cases due to a gear change.

9:36 am: ‘We knew numbers were a problem ”: Nursing shortage exposed as healthcare systems grapple with Omicron. Read the full Star’s Omar Mosleh story here.

9:30 am: New nurses in Ontario are “too stretched, too often, too soon”. This is the reality of working under COVID-19.

As more experienced nurses leave the profession, this leaves fewer opportunities for peer support, which one expert says is key to retaining new nurses.

Read the full story of Star’s Urbi Khan.

9:25 am: Perhaps one of the defining characteristics of the Omicron wave here in Canada is our sense of the imperability of the virus.

During the first wave of the pandemic, public health measures often limited the spread of the virus to isolated outbreaks, tragically killing people in sensitive places such as long-term care homes. With beta and delta-type COVID-19, the community spread of the virus was significantly curbed as vaccination progressed.

Now, as the COVID-19 curve turns into an almost vertical line and several provinces place strict limits on who can get tested because so many are at risk, our collective sense of being able to avoid infection is shaken. Omicron seems truly unstoppable.

Read the full story of Alex McKeen from The Star.

8:15 am: New coronavirus infections in Australia again skyrocketed to a record high of over 32,000 on Friday, just days after surpassing 10,000 for the first time.

Experts say the explosion is due to the highly contagious variant of omicron and a recent easing of restrictions in Sydney and other areas.

More than 15,000 of the new cases have been reported in Sydney. Another 5,000 cases have come from elsewhere in the state of New South Wales, while nearly 6,000 have been confirmed in the state of Victoria, home to Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne.

While hospitalizations and deaths have increased since the outbreak, so far they have not reached the comparative levels seen in previous outbreaks. And many cities are planning to move forward with New Years celebrations, including the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge fireworks display and the Sydney Opera House.

8:15 am: Hong Kong has confirmed the first cases of community transmission of the omicron variant of COVID-19, linked to an airline crew member who returned from the United States and had lunch at a restaurant two days later.

Two other people eating at the Moon Palace restaurant on Monday were infected. One was the father of the Cathay Pacific crew member and the other was a construction worker who dined 10 meters (30 feet) away.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan told a press conference on Friday that city chief Carrie Lam had expressed deep displeasure to the president of the airline and his CEO that some staff had violates a 3-day self-isolation rule after returning home. The Health Secretary called their actions “irresponsible”.

Cathay Pacific said in a statement that five crew members recently tested positive for omicron and some did not follow regulations. He apologized and said they would be disciplined.

Hong Kong has registered 81 cases of omicron. The others were among those who arrived from overseas.

8:15 am: Pope Francis has canceled his New Year’s Eve tradition of visiting the full-size nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square to discourage large crowds from forming.

Meanwhile, major Italian cities have abandoned their traditional outdoor concerts on December 31 as Italy battles a record increase in coronavirus cases.

Francis continues his traditional service of vespers on December 31 inside the basilica and will celebrate New Year’s mass as planned.

The Vatican has largely followed Italy’s lead in imposing crowd restrictions. Many Italian cities opt for streaming concerts or theatrical productions where public access can be controlled to check health cards.

In addition, the city of Naples has outright banned the use of fireworks in an attempt to prevent crowds from forming in a city known for its explosive December 31 festivities.

8:14 am: Pakistan’s planning minister said his country had met its goal of fully immunizing 70 million people by the end of 2021.

Friday’s announcement comes as Pakistan recently stepped up its vaccination campaign as the new variant of omicron spreads.

Planning Minister Asad Umar took to Twitter to thank the health workers who worked to reach the goal.

Since last year, Pakistan has administered 155 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, fully immunizing more than 70 million in the South Asian country of about 220 million people. It brings the vaccination rate to 44%.

Pakistan has so far relied mainly on Chinese vaccines, although it has also received millions of vaccine doses under the COVAX program.

8:13 am: Good riddance until 2021. May 2022 bring new hope.

It was a common feeling as people around the world started to welcome the New Year.

In many places, New Years celebrations have been cut or canceled for the second year in a row due to a wave of coronavirus infections, this time brought on by the highly contagious variant of omicron.

Even before omicron struck, many people were happy to say goodbye to a second year of pandemic crisis.

But so far, at least, the omicron surge has not resulted in the same levels of hospitalizations and deaths as previous outbreaks – especially among those vaccinated – offering a silver lining for 2022.

New Zealand was one of the first places to celebrate the New Year with an inconspicuous display of lights cast over Auckland landmarks including the Sky Tower and Harbor Bridge. This replaced the traditional fireworks display. Although there has not yet been a community spread of omicron in New Zealand, authorities still wanted to discourage crowd gatherings.

Neighboring Australia, however, continued to celebrate despite an explosion in cases of the virus. Some fireworks were set off in the early evening to give the youngest a glimpse of the centerpiece of the festivities, the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House fireworks.

Hours before the celebrations began, Australian health officials reported a record 32,000 new cases of the virus, many in Sydney. Due to the wave, crowds were much smaller than in the pre-pandemic years, when as many as 1 million revelers crowded inside Sydney.

Due to the location of the international date line, countries in Asia and the Pacific region are among the first to usher in each new year.

8:10 am: With the relentless wave of the Omicron variant now pushing the number of COVID-19 cases to new highs almost daily, governments across Canada are responding with tighter pandemic restrictions.

The rapidly rising tide of COVID cases has prompted some provinces to change their back-to-school plans by extending vacations. In Ontario, the resumption of in-person classes is delayed until Wednesday, in Alberta until January 10, and in Quebec until at least January 17.

Nova Scotia announced that starting Monday, people aged 30 and over will be eligible for booster injections, while in Ontario, publicly funded PCR tests are limited to only those at high risk who are symptomatic or at risk for serious illness.

Meanwhile, a new study from Public Health Ontario suggests that people infected with the highly transmissible variant of Omicron are significantly less likely to be hospitalized or die than those infected with Delta. Yet the Public Health Agency of Canada noted Thursday that an average of 1,892 people with COVID-19 were treated in Canadian hospitals every day this week, 23% more than last week.

8h: A ban on private gatherings is now in effect in Quebec and a COVID-19 curfew is expected to begin at 10 p.m.

Prime Minister François Legault announced the new restrictions at a press conference last night in Montreal.

Legault says hospitals across the province risk being overwhelmed as the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise and hospitalizations linked to the disease have doubled in a week.

Legault also ordered restaurants to close their dining halls and said in-person classes at schools, universities and colleges would not resume until at least January 17.

The closure of places of worship has also been ordered, with the exception of the funeral which will be limited to 25 people.

The curfew prohibits people from going out, with a few exceptions, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Legault says the province will report more than 16,000 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Quebec is the only province to use a curfew as part of its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, a previous curfew was in effect from January 9, 2021 to May 28.


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Experts call for action to address Omicron ahead of Thursday’s COVID update with Saskatchewan. officials https://celenire.com/experts-call-for-action-to-address-omicron-ahead-of-thursdays-covid-update-with-saskatchewan-officials/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 22:04:41 +0000 https://celenire.com/experts-call-for-action-to-address-omicron-ahead-of-thursdays-covid-update-with-saskatchewan-officials/ Experts are calling for action against the spread of Omicron ahead of a COVID-19 government update scheduled for Thursday morning. Saskatchewan reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,645. There are now 66 confirmed cases of Omicron and 956 suspected cases of Omicron in the province. […]]]>

Experts are calling for action against the spread of Omicron ahead of a COVID-19 government update scheduled for Thursday morning.

Saskatchewan reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,645. There are now 66 confirmed cases of Omicron and 956 suspected cases of Omicron in the province.

“The numbers are not at all a surprise. It was expected and that is what we are seeing,” said Nazeem Muhajarine, professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

“We could be at the start of exponential growth.”

The provincial government is expected to make a public health announcement on Thursday. A bulletin from the Prime Minister’s Office said Premier Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman will hold an update at 11 a.m. “to announce changes related to testing and isolation, and provide an update. update on key indicators relating to the number of cases, including hospitalizations ”.

Muhajarine said recent provincial and federal data shows a curve with a steep increase, with the seven-day average increasing exponentially.

He said it is too early to predict whether Saskatchewan will see surges like those in Ontario and Quebec, but “Saskatchewan is going in that direction because it doesn’t take much for Omicron to pick up the slack.”

Under-reported cases

“We are probably only looking at the tip of the Omicron iceberg,” said Dennis Kendel, health policy adviser. Saskatoon morning.

“There have only been 992 tests done in the previous 24 hours, a test positivity rate of 16.3%. When test positivity for PCR tests is this high, we know we are missing a lot of case.”

Dr Dennis Kendel said that while the reported symptoms of Omicron have been mild so far, recent data from the United States suggests an increase in pediatric admissions. (Trent Peppler / CBC)

Kendel said that while the provincial government deserves credit for making rapid and free antigen testing available to the public, few people follow up on a positive result that involves performing a formal PCR test.

“Especially people in rural communities, they just don’t drive to get tested. They are very positive but we don’t count them because they don’t get PCR test,” he said.

Muhajarine agrees that Saskatchewan, like other provinces, is undoubtedly underreporting cases, but the degree is uncertain – and this is also partly due to the lack of PCR testing to confirm positive rapid test results.

“Our testing regime is not normal. Our PCR testing regime is compromised, just like in Ontario and Quebec,” he said.

“In Saskatchewan, maybe not at this point, but we are approaching that point where our PCR testing capability is called into question and compromised.”

The government’s laissez-faire, watch and wait approach must change

Muhajarine said Saskatchewan is the only province to have taken “the most passive and negligent approach at any time during the pandemic,” even beating Alberta, in his opinion.

He said Prime Minister Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman, at times of dire need for health action, have taken a “watch and wait” approach.

Kendel echoes with that thought.

“When you wait too long, there are preventable deaths and a lot of preventable human suffering,” he said.

“I am very unhappy with the passive approach our government is taking right now. I don’t expect anything to happen tomorrow.”

Nazeem Muhajarine, an epidemiologist at the University of Saskatchewan, said Saskatchewan is past the optimal time to introduce measures such as collection restrictions and capacity limits. (University of Saskatchewan)

Muhajarine says the critical point for taking action may have already passed.

“There is an optimal time to introduce measures such as collection of restrictions and capacity limits during a pandemic wave. We have passed that optimal time in Saskatchewan,” said Muhajarine.

Muhajarine said these measures should have been introduced when the COVID count was low. He said telltale signs of the coming storm were there when other provinces and jurisdictions around the world reported their first cases of Omicron.

“Moe, who is from rural Saskatchewan and farmed, should know how to protect your herd when a tornado is heading straight for you,” he said. “Instead, they took a pretty laissez-faire approach, watch and wait. “

Need restrictions because the risk persists

While Muhajarine is hoping the government could announce measures limiting the size of gatherings, Kendel believes otherwise.

“There is a certain likelihood that our prime minister will actually consider the CDC’s policy of reducing isolation time. If that happens, I will be really disappointed,” Kendel said.

Kendel said that while the reported symptoms of Omicron have been mild so far, recent data from the United States suggests a 30% increase in pediatric admissions.

6:42Make sense of the more than 800 suspected / confirmed cases of Omicron reported in the province

Leisha Grebinski chats with Dr. Dennis Kendel, health policy consultant and former CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, about the rise of Omicron and the lack of restrictions. 6:42

“We’re unlikely to escape that here. We’re going to see a significant increase in admissions, especially pediatric admissions,” Kendel said.

“We have very clear visibility criteria for closing a highway in a blizzard. That’s what I would like to see our government do, but they remain silent.”

Muhajarine agrees that since the infection rate for the variant is high, “it will be more than hospital systems can handle when the fourth wave comes out.”

“One of the biggest things I hope for is the collection restrictions and capacity limits as well as some consideration for children and teachers,” Muhajarine said.

“I hope the government will work with school boards to keep students and teachers safe and introduce e-learning for a few weeks.”

Muhajarine advises residents to stick to their own household bubbles and, if necessary, another fully vaccinated household. He suggests receiving booster shots to increase the immune response.


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The film industry mourns Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée https://celenire.com/the-film-industry-mourns-quebec-director-jean-marc-vallee/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 23:41:46 +0000 https://celenire.com/the-film-industry-mourns-quebec-director-jean-marc-vallee/ The Quebec film industry is shaken by the death of award-winning filmmaker and producer Jean-Marc Vallée. He was 58 years old. Radio-Canada confirmed the news first reported by US media on Sunday evening. According to Vallée’s son, Émile, the filmmaker died on Christmas night. The cause of his untimely death has not been announced, leaving […]]]>

The Quebec film industry is shaken by the death of award-winning filmmaker and producer Jean-Marc Vallée. He was 58 years old.

Radio-Canada confirmed the news first reported by US media on Sunday evening. According to Vallée’s son, Émile, the filmmaker died on Christmas night.

The cause of his untimely death has not been announced, leaving the artistic community in shock.

Vallée won an Emmy for directing the hit HBO series Big little lies. His 2013 drama Dallas Buyers Club won several Oscar nominations.

At the time of his death, he was living in a chalet in Berthier-sur-Mer, in Chaudière-Appalaches, about 70 kilometers east of Quebec.

Michel Côté who played in Vallée’s first film Blacklist (1995) told Radio-Canada All morning this Vallée was a detail-oriented director who loved his cast.

“It’s like he’s playing on the first line of a hockey team,” he said. “He sees everything.

While on vacation, he said the two would meet for annual reunions and Vallée would tell stories about Hollywood.

“This year, with COVID, I stayed in the country, so I told myself that I would miss my meeting with Jean-Marc, but I will miss this meeting and many others.”

In 2017, the HBO series Big Little Lies earned Vallée a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for a Limited Series, Movie, or Drama Special. (Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images)

Vallée rose to fame after the coming-of-age movie was released CRAZY (2005) and the romantic drama Café de Flore, which received three Engineering awards in 2012 among 13 nominations.

Producer Pierre Even, who worked with Vallée on both films, said he learned of his death Sunday evening after a friend sent him an article from the US publication Deadline.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was with my partner and we were completely and totally in disbelief.”

Even though Even says they didn’t see each other often due to their respective professional obligations, he will remember Vallée as a friend and director with “astonishing intensity” who devoted himself entirely to his films.

“It was one of his great qualities,” he said. “We have lost a great artist who had not finished sharing his vision of the world with us.”

Alexandra Stréliski, whose music is featured on several occasions in Vallée’s work, homage paid to the late director on Twitter.

“He’s always been my lucky star,” she wrote.

“I have always considered Jean Marc as a big brother,” Denis Villeneuve, a friend and colleague from Quebec, told CBC.

The duo played a decisive role in the breakthrough of Quebec cinema in Hollywood – Villeneuve more recently with Dune last fall and Blade Runner 2049 in 2017.

“He is someone who, through his incredible ambition and talent, has inspired me, inspired me and inspired many friends around me and I am sure he will inspire generations to come. was a pioneer, ”Villeneuve said.

Prime Minister François Legault offered his condolences to those close to Vallée in a Tweeter, calling the news of the director’s death a tragedy.

“Jean-Marc Vallée moved me with CRAZY. and Big little lies“he said.” He was extremely nice. “

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also shared his thoughts on the social media network.

“Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for film and storytelling was unmatched, as was his talent. Through his work and his art, he left a mark in Quebec, Canada and the world, ”Trudeau wrote. “My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans as they mourn his sudden passing.”

Reese Witherspoon, who starred in Vallée’s Savage (2014), which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and in Big little lies also expressed sorrow Twitter.

“My heart is broken. My friend. I love you,” she wrote.



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