Quebec enters the seventh wave of COVID-19

As Quebec enters the seventh wave of COVID-19, the province’s health minister says the situation is “under control for the time being” but urges residents to be “vigilant”.

“We are not here at all to re-impose health measures,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said during a news conference on Thursday. “We have said all along that we need to live with this COVID.”

The health minister said isolating when sick and staying up to date on vaccinations is key to curbing this latest surge of the virus and protecting the most vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

On the latter, he announced that the province will soon post new guidance on its website to help people decide when to seek booster doses of the vaccine to ensure they are protected against the latest Omicron variants spreading in Quebec. and in other parts of the world. world.

Dr. Luc Boileau, Quebec’s director of public health, joined the health minister for the news conference Thursday morning. The pair haven’t been side by side for COVD-19 updates in quite some time.

Quebec hospitalizations topped 1,500 on Thursday, a number not seen since May, according to the Quebec public health institute (INSPQ).


However, this new wave is not expected to persist for much of the summer, Boileau openly predicted.

“The evolution should curve downwards during the month of July, but there are uncertainties in this regard and we will monitor the situation very carefully,” he said.

However, the surge is occurring as more and more healthcare workers are reported to be absent from work due to COVID-related reasons. On Thursday, the number reached more than 7,300.

Boileau highlighted the prevalence of subvariants of the Omicron strain of coronavirus, BA.4 and BA.5, which are blamed for surges in other countries.

The most contagious variants account for a growing proportion of variants across Canada in recent weeks. According to the latest data from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), BA.5 accounted for 20.4% of cases as of June 12. By that date, BA.4 accounted for about 7.4% of cases.

A month earlier, each of those variants accounted for about 1 percent of cases.

The province explained Thursday that while the two subvariants are proving to be more contagious, at this time they do not appear to be more virulent than the previous variants. This is the bar Quebec is using to decide whether or not to bring in more public health measures, Boileau told reporters.

“If there is a variant that shows that it is deadly, that we calculate that there is a risk of increasing the risk to the system and to people, their mortality, morbidity, then it will surely bring some very new ones.” [measures]Boileau said.

“But this is not what we are dealing with right now.”


Public health officials have placed some of the blame for the rise in infections on people not following isolation guidelines. “That explains the current wave,” Boileau said.

“Clearly, there are a lot of people who are not playing by the rules.”

Boileau reminded the public that once symptoms are observed, a full five-day isolation is necessary.

After that, infected people must wear a face mask for another five days during any social interaction, as people who test positive remain contagious for 10 days.

On Thursday, Quebec reported that the positivity rate held steady at 14.5 percent as it recorded 1,755 new infections from the PCR tests, which are reserved for priority clientele.

The province is also monitoring 339 active outbreaks of the virus throughout Quebec. On Tuesday, outbreaks of COVID-19 prompted the closure of three sleeping camps in Quebec.

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