- On Thursday, Quebec reported 2,994 people hospitalized (an increase of 117 the day before), including 272 in intensive care (an increase new).
- The province reported 8,793 new cases of COVID-19 and 45 new deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 775,720 confirmed cases and 12,125 people died.
- On Thursday, the province also reported a total of 16,080,391 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered, including 111,395 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 28% 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 will explain how it intends to address air quality in schools later this morning, before returning to class on Monday.
Prime Minister Francois Legault announced yesterday that elementary and high school students will still return to school on January 17, with all students wearing masks indoors.
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”.
Legault said there is a high rate of vaccination among teenagers in Quebec and that ventilation in public schools in the province is safe, according to public health experts.
Third dose appointments for ages 18 and older are now available through the Clic-Santé booking system.
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.
As previously announced, the passport will also become mandatory in alcohol and cannabis stores operated by the provincial government, the SAQ and the SQDC, starting January 18.
The government has also said it is not backing down from a plan announced Tuesday to charge unvaccinated Quebecers a “health contribution” – an amount the prime minister says could be deducted when citizens file their tax returns.
WATCH | François Legault explains why he introduced and then abandoned the curfew:
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 today 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 deaths.
“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.
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. .
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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- 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.
- 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 on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here.