COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Tuesday
- On Monday, Quebec reported 1,002 people in hospital (an increase of 13 from the previous day), including 48 in intensive care (an increase of three from the previous day).
- The province reported 907 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 945,506 confirmed cases, and 14,265 people have died.
- The province also reported Monday a total of 18,571,415 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered, including 3,835 doses in the last 24 hours.
- 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (aged five and up) have received one dose of the vaccine; 87 per cent have received two doses, and 52 per cent have received three doses.
*The new cases are those reported to the Quebec government only. They are believed to be an underrepresentation of the virus’s spread, given the limited availability of PCR tests and use of home testing kits.
*Quebec’s Health Ministry announced it will no longer report its COVID-19 numbers on the weekend.
Quebec’s Finance Minister Eric Girard will present his latest budget shortly after 4 p.m. today, which will include relief for those struggling with the rising cost of living.
“We’re also funding long term the principal missions of the state — health care, education, the economy, the environment,” he said.
On Monday, Girard said the economy had rebounded more quickly than expected despite the pandemic, driving down the structural deficit from an expected $6.8 billion for the fiscal year to roughly $3 billion.
Health Minister Christian Dubé has promised to turn his attention to making long-term reforms in the health-care system in the coming months, though a full-scale overhaul isn’t expected in the budget. He has, however, already committed to addressing the nursing shortage in the coming year.
The health sector accounts for the largest slice of the budgetary pie. Last year, at the height of the pandemic, spending in the sector increased by six per cent.
Girard says he’s fairly optimistic about the budget, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty in regard with the war in Ukraine and the risk of a sixth wave of the pandemic.
Ontario lifted its mask mandate – Quebec is next
As Quebec gears up to lift mask mandates in most indoor settings by mid-April, Ontario dropped the measure Monday, though experts warn of an increase in infections and hospitalizations in the coming weeks as a result.
Recent modelling by Ontario health officials suggest hospitalizations will likely rise in the province with the lifting of the measure and the BA.2 subvariant will likely become the dominant strain of COVID-19 this month.
Health experts and officials in Quebec and Ontario generally agree that individuals should weigh their own risk when deciding whether to wear a mask to curb their own chances of infection and the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, due to Quebec’s declining rate of hospitalizations and high vaccination and immunity rates, the province has proposed to scrap masks in most public places by mid-April, and sometime in May for public transit.
Some municipalities in the province say they intend to keep the mask mandate in certain areas, even after the province removes the requirement.
Top COVID-19 stories
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- New or worsening cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
- Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
- Sore throat
- Generalized muscle pain.
- Loss of appetite.
If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 1‑877‑644‑4545 to schedule an appointment at a screening clinic.
To reserve an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go on the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.