The wearing of masks in public places will be maintained until mid-May, despite some optimism about the pandemic situation.
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The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, has decided to go ahead with the recommendation made Thursday by the national director of public health by interim, Luc Boileau, to extend the wearing of the mandatory mask.
“We are seeing a stabilization of the situation which seems reassuring, but it is crucial to remain cautious for the next few days”, declared Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services.
“We will follow the situation closely and we will be happy to reconsider everything if this situation should improve over the next few days”, for his part indicated the Dr Boileau, during a press conference in Montreal, alongside the DD Lucie Opatrny, Assistant Deputy Minister for Health.
A Léger-Le Journal-TVA-QUB poll published Thursday indicates 73% of people polled indicated that they would continue to wear the mask “most of the time or occasionally”, even if the measure is lifted.
“Everywhere in other jurisdictions, when the requirement was removed, that intention to wear it was maintained for a few days and after that people started to use it less,” noted the D.r Boileau.
According to the latter, given the social acceptability of wearing a mask, its obligation is justified.
Luc Boileau also believes that the transmission of COVID-19 has begun to slow down and he believes that Quebec may have reached a plateau, although the data is not “clear” to this effect.
“It’s not that it’s going down, but we have a slower progression than what we experienced two weeks ago,” he said, mentioning that we will have to wait a few days to assess the situation. , in particular because of the Easter holiday.
Public Health also notes the presence of an influenza virus circulating in Quebec and which could have consequences for front-line services and emergencies.
“We must remain cautious when we observe the appearance of symptoms,” said Dr. Boileau. In the majority of cases, it’s COVID-19, but if it’s influenza, we must have the same attitudes. You have to isolate yourself and protect others.”
The isolation period for immunosuppressed people with COVID is also being reduced from 21 to 10 days.
“This decision is based on expert advice, and it is safe, both for the people themselves and for those they come into contact with. They can quickly resume operations, “revealed the Dr Boileau.
New drug Evusheld
Recently approved by Health Canada, the drug Evusheld will soon be available, particularly for immunosuppressed people in Quebec. It allows the development of antibodies to reduce the risk of catching the virus.
The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) has also issued a favorable opinion. Public Health should soon indicate the details for its use.
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At the time of its press briefing, Public Health listed:
- 2,909 new cases
- 2,405 hospitalizations, including 88 in intensive care
- 38 new deaths
- 10,932 healthcare workers absent for COVID-related reasons
The DD Opatrny also reported on the situation in Quebec hospitals with regard to load shedding.
“There are places where it is more problematic than others. There are a few outside of Greater Montreal in level 3. Estrie tends to go towards 4, “she said.
Furthermore, the Dr Boileau recalled the importance of the 3and dose. “The important thing is to say that the vaccine works very well,” he said.
People over the age of 60 can also avail of a fourth dose, also available without an appointment for those under this age bracket.