Clara Descurninges, Canadian Press
MONTREAL – Quebecs will have to continue to wear masks in public places and on public transport for a while.
“We will continue to wear masks in public after mid-April, at the recommendation of Public Health,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a press release on Tuesday.
The press release does not give an expected date for the withdrawal of the measure.
Acting national director of public health Dr. Luc Boileau said at a press conference in Quebec on Tuesday morning that he expects this recommendation to continue “throughout April.”
It didn’t come forward on a bullish date, saying it’s waiting to see how the sixth wave unfolds. “Projections from the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services predict further increases in cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks,” he recalled.
“We have no intention of recommending the government to add measures such as closing anything,” he said. I think we can appeal to a sense of citizenship and public cooperation.”
Quebec is one of only two jurisdictions in North America (the other being Prince Edward Island) that still maintains face protection requirements. Asked about this, Dr. Boileau said he was “in contact with other public health leaders (…) and there are several people who would like to reintroduce these measures.”
The Ministry of Health recorded an increase of 72 hospitalizations due to the virus on Monday compared to the previous day. This brings the total number to 1,479. However, only 598 or less than half of these patients have COVID-19 as an accepted diagnosis.
The number of cases in the intensive care unit remained stable with 69 patients. Of these, 48 or more than two-thirds had their main diagnosis of COVID-19.
4 doses for 60 years and older
Access to the fourth dose, which is currently available to vulnerable people aged 80 and over, will be expanded. Those aged 70 and over will be able to make an appointment from Wednesday, and those aged 60 and over will be able to make an appointment from April 11.
Dr. “Three-quarters of the people (with COVID-19) in our hospitals are people over the age of 60,” said Boileau.
Public health does not currently plan to recommend expanding access to this dose to the entire population, as priority groups are vaccinated later. The clinician, who supported the scientific management of the drug, argued that “data show that there may be a decrease in efficacy within five to six months after injection” and that a booster should only be offered to “people longer than three months.” Ministry of Health pandemic Jean Longtin during the press conference.
While doing this, “there will definitely be a vaccination campaign in the autumn”.
Dr. Boileau also invited people who have not yet received the third dose of vaccine to make an appointment to get the vaccine.
He reminded me that this third dose is very effective in preventing severe forms of the disease.
Although the majority of Quebecs aged 5 years and older received their first (91%) and second (87%) injections, the booster dose was not as popular and was received by only half (53%) of the eligible population. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.
living with COVID-19
Dr. Boileau emphasized that learning to live with the virus does not mean abandoning all precautions.
“We see that there are people who pay less attention to the situation,” he said, reminding that “the epidemic is not over”.
Even if the isolation period at home is five days, “The time you can be contagious is ten days. (…) We must be very vigilant in this context”.
Between six and ten days, “If you don’t have a fever, you can start certain activities again if you don’t have symptoms, but it’s not a time to go to a restaurant, watch a show, or do sports activities with others.”
This article was produced with the financial support of Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.