Québec’s public health director says new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations linked to the disease are on the rise in the province as the fall season begins.
Dr. Luc Boileau says it’s too early, however, to declare that the province has entered a new wave.
“Will it be a new wave? A big wave? We’ll have to wait a couple of days to see if or weeks to see how it goes on. But, of course, with that in mind, even though there might be a rise […] for a few weeks, we are not expecting even with that to add this some public health measures.”
He says that in response to the rise in COVID-19 indicators, the province is making the influenza vaccine available earlier than usual so that vulnerable residents can be protected against both viruses.
Boileau says that starting Oct. 5, seniors and other at-risk residents can access the influenza vaccine for free at clinics and pharmacies and can obtain a shot at the same time as their COVID-19 vaccination.
Adding that COVID-19 transmission in schools has been “very weak” since students returned to class for the fall semester – and about 6,000 infections have so far been reported in schools.
“Of course, we do understand that there’s a certain number of people that are questioning the vaccination and in fact, some of them have been vaccinated and still get the infection. But they will realize that they are not getting an infection that will be transforming the very bad disease or even that. So this is what we would like to prevent hospitalization,” explained Dr. Boileau.
“Flu vaccination is geared toward reducing complication and for those at high risk. So it’s mainly those age 75 and above, but itself for 60 and above and also those with medical underlying disease such as lung issue, cardiac problems, etc.. It’s also offered for health care workers, for pregnant women and for children, and also for those who live with immunocompromised people,” said Dr. Jean Longtin, a microbiologist with the Québec Health Ministry.
The province’s public health research institute is projecting that new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations will continue to rise over the next two weeks.
Latest COVID data
Québec adding eight COVID deaths to its total, while hospitalizations related to the virus see a major increase of 44 patients compared to the previous day.
The province is dealing with 248 active outbreaks and 3,861 health workers out sick.
16,770 fatalities total since the pandemic began: two in the last 24 hours, three added from the last week to the total, and three added from over seven days ago.
1,663 people being treated in hospital – but 514 of those admitted because of COVID-19 symptoms, the rest tested positive after being hospitalized for other ailments. 152 new entries and 108 discharges.
Of those, 34 in ICU, including 12 specifically for COVID and the rest testing positive after being admitted – stable compared the previous day, with five newly admitted and five released.
A total of 1,037 new infections in the last 24 hours, with 170 tests self-declared by Québecers who were positive. The overall case numbers likely an undercount as access to PCR tests is limited to specific groups and not everyone self-declare their rapid tests.
-close to 25K+ doses administered last 24 hours, 21.2M+ total so far
For more: Quebec.ca