Ontario | A 6th wave “accelerated” by the lifting of the wearing of the mask

Faced with a marked increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations since it abandoned the obligation to wear the mask, the public health of Ontario strongly recommended Monday to the population to wear it again.

Posted at 6:00 a.m.

Alice Girard-Bosse

Alice Girard-Bosse
The Press

“There are actions we can take to help manage the impact of this wave […]which includes a strong recommendation to continue wearing a well-fitting three-ply mask or use a medical mask in all indoor public places,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr.r Kieran Moore at his first COVID-19 press conference since early March.

As of March 21, the province ended mandatory mask-wearing in most indoor spaces. She plans to eliminate all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on April 27, including mask-wearing in long-term care homes, retirement homes, health care facilities, prisons, shelters, collective living spaces and public transport.

“One thing is certain, the hasty lifting of the mask-wearing mandate has certainly accelerated the rise of the sixth wave,” said to The Press the Dr Hugues Loemba, family physician, virologist and professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

The test positivity rate and hospitalizations have increased since March 21, when the province ended mandatory mask-wearing, a recent report from Public Health Ontario noted. He proposes bringing mask-wearing indoors and extending the requirement to wear them in high-risk settings to mitigate the rise in cases.

The sixth wave hits the province

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen an increase in the percentage of positive tests, an upward trend in sewage monitoring and an increase in hospitalizations,” said Dr.r Moore, adding that these trends are likely to “continue over the next few weeks.”

The most recent sewage data suggests COVID-19 cases are around 100,000 to 120,000 a day in Ontario, said Scientific Director of the Ontario COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group, Peter Jüni. .

In addition, hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 increased by 40% last week compared to the previous one.

On Monday, Ontario also expanded eligibility for COVID-19 PCR testing and antiviral treatments. They will now be available to anyone 70 and over, people 60 and over with less than three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and people 18 and over with less than three doses and at least one factor. of risk.

The rise continues in Quebec

Meanwhile, hospitalizations continue to climb rapidly in Quebec. The province reported an increase of 85 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 6 new deaths on Monday. The new deaths bring the daily average calculated over seven days to 19. The trend is up 55% over one week.

Across Quebec, 1,793 patients remain hospitalized in connection with the virus, an increase of 27% compared to last week. In intensive care, however, the situation remains stable, with 69 patients. The number of people in hospital is expected to continue to rise over the next few days, with the number of admissions currently outpacing discharges. On average, there are 55 more patients every day.

The 2,234 new cases reported on Monday bring the daily average to 3,139. ​​The trend is thus up 11% over one week. These figures likely reflect only a portion of the total number, due to limited access to PCR screening tests. Moreover, the proportion of PCR screening tests proving positive for COVID-19 remains very high, at 15.9%.

On the same day, 987 positive rapid tests were self-reported on the government platform. Self-reported cases, which are not included in daily reported cases, are down 9% over the past week.

Fourth dose

The Quebec vaccination campaign is slowly getting back on track. More than 13,000 doses of vaccine had been administered in the past 24 hours as of Monday.

Also, since Monday, Quebecers aged 60 and over can make an appointment for a fourth dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. This dose is also offered to people who are immunocompromised or on dialysis and aged 12 and over at the time of making the appointment, as well as to people who live in a CHSLD or a private seniors’ residence.

With the collaboration of Pierre André-Normandin, The Press, and The Canadian Press

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