COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Tuesday
- On Monday, Quebec reported 1,611 people in hospital (a drop of 11 from the previous day), including 51 in intensive care (a drop of four from the previous day).
- The province reported 457 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.
- Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,058,066 confirmed cases and 15,284 people have died.
- The province also reported 5,331 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 12 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 lack of independence granted to Quebec’s health director may have slowed the government’s response early in the pandemic, as hundreds died in nursing homes across the province, according to a coroner’s report.
Coroner Géhane Kamel released a report on Monday after months of investigations into deaths in retirement homes where the pandemic killed more than 5,000 people in the spring of 2020.
“We have tolerated the unbearable. It was a sad day for medicine in Quebec,” she wrote.
Kamel was also scathing in her recounting of the events that unfolded at one of the long-term care homes she examined in the study, CHSLD Herron in Dorval, Que. 47 of the 53 deaths analyzed in the study occurred in Herron in spring 2020.
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.
Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette tests positive for COVID-19
The Quebec Minister of Justice and the Minister responsible for the French language announced this in a tweet on Sunday.
“Yesterday I received a positive test result for COVID-19. I’m feeling good at the moment,” he wrote on Sunday morning. “I will be working remotely in the coming days in accordance with public health measures.”
Jolin-Barrette was to spend the coming week in his own rides – not in the National Assembly. MNAs will not return to Quebec City until May 24th.
Pharmacies are pushing for disguise at drug counters
Pharmacists at the province’s 1,900 pharmacies are urging people to continue wearing masks, particularly at the pharmacy counter, out of respect for those who may be at risk.
Bertrand Bolduc, president of the Quebec Pharmacist Order, said many customers suffer from a variety of medical conditions, meaning they are at greater risk if they contract COVID-19.
“We’re not going to play police, but we want people to wear a mask,” Bolduc said in an interview. “Our employees will continue to wear it too.”
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.