COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Thursday
- On Wednesday, Quebec reported 1,599 people in hospital (a drop of 35 from the previous day), including 48 in intensive care (a drop of six from the previous day).
- The province reported 728 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,059,419 confirmed cases and 15,312 people have died.
- The province also reported 5,245 healthcare workers who were absent for COVID-related reasons.
- 91 percent of the province’s eligible population (aged five and older) has received at least one dose of the vaccine; 55 percent received a third dose and 13 percent received a fourth dose.
*The new cases were only reported to the Quebec government. They are believed to underrepresent the spread of the virus given the limited availability of PCR tests and the use of home testing kits.
*The Quebec Department of Health stopped reporting COVID-19 numbers over the weekend.
The city of Montreal is expected to officially lift its COVID-19 state of emergency on Thursday.
The state of emergency, Montreal’s second during the pandemic, has been in effect since last December. However, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s administration had said it would phase them out on May 19.
The city said the improving COVID-19 situation coupled with high vaccination rates means it no longer needs emergency powers.
Plante said back in December that the state of emergency would be used to quickly source protective equipment for the city’s key workers and prepare sites and facilities to accommodate Montreal’s homeless population.
Some first wave deaths were due to lack of care, not COVID-19
At least 13 people at six long-term care facilities in Quebec who died during the first wave of the pandemic died, likely from a lack of care, according to a coroner’s report released Monday.
Coroner Géhane Kamel’s inquest looked at what went wrong in nursing homes and retirement homes in the early months of the 2020 pandemic.
One patient, Olga Maculavicous, died of kidney failure possibly caused by dehydration. Between March 26 and March 31, 2020, there were no notes in her record at the home. Kamel wrote it was possible that “lack of care was the cause of death.”
Leon Barrette was 93 when he died at CHSLD Herron on March 29, 2020, barely two days after being transferred there from McGill University Health Center.
Kamel wrote in the report that the information in Barrette’s file was so sparse, “we have the impression that he was forgotten and died alone.”
The lack of independence granted to Quebec’s health director may have slowed the government’s response early in the pandemic, according to the same report.
Quebec’s mask mandate has ended
Quebec became the first province in Canada to impose a mask mandate following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Saturday it became the latest province to allow residents to remain maskless in most indoor public spaces.
Quebecers are no longer required to wear masks in most indoor public spaces. The province’s mandatory mask mandate has been in effect for a total of 21 consecutive months since July 2020.
Most indoor places in a Quebecer’s daily life no longer require a mask, including grocery stores, gyms and restaurants. Masks are still required on public transport and in hospitals. The Health Ministry said on Friday that taxis are considered public transport and require masks.
Top stories on COVID-19
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- New or worsening cough.
- difficulty breathing.
- Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
- Gastrointestinal problems (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
- Sore throat
- Generalized muscle pain.
- loss of appetite.
Information on COVID-19 in the province can be found here and information on the situation in Montreal can be found here.