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 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 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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