• Quebec reported 882 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and one new death.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 441,344 confirmed cases and 11,566 people have died.
  • There are 211 people in hospital (an increase of eight), including 46 in intensive care (same as yesterday). 
  • As of Tuesday, the province has administered 13,485,440 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (age 12 and up) has received one dose of vaccine, and 88 per cent has received two doses.

Note: Quebec’s Health Ministry does not publish the number of vaccines administered on weekends and public holidays. 

Children under the age of five could potentially be vaccinated for COVID-19 as early as the new year, according to Canada’s chief public health officer.

Speaking to Radio-Canada, Theresa Tam said that clinical trials are currently underway for children aged six months to five years old. She said she hopes see the results of the those trials by the end of the year.

The vaccines would then have to be approved by Health Canada, but Tam said that optimistically, vaccinations could start in early 2022.

Like for children aged five to 11, Tam said getting younger kids vaccinated would be an additional layer of protection for families and would limit disruptions, like having to stay home from daycare.

When asked if the pandemic could potentially be winding down, Tam said that the end of winter and early spring will likely be a “turning point” when the government could re-assess the situation at large.

WATCH | Quebec’s vaccine program for children explained: 

Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccination program for children explained

Quebec children age five to 11 can now get their shots. The premier hopes parents will get their kids vaccinated, but he doesn’t want to pressure them. 2:26

AstraZenica recipients can sign up for boosters

Quebecers who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine can now book an appointment for a third dose.

This time, they will receive an mRNA vaccine, such as the ones developed by either Pfizer or Moderna. Appointments can be booked on the Clic-Santé website. 

Just under 740,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were administered in Quebec.

New guidance on cloth masks

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has updated its guidelines on masks.

“In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection,” the PHAC said on its COVID-19 mask information webpage.

The agency said in an email to Canada that the change was “based on the latest scientific evidence on SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern, increased understanding of the impacts of vaccination and immunity in the population, and new data available on mask types and their effectiveness.”

Experts say this shift in messaging reflects a growing body of evidence suggesting that COVID-19 is largely spread through aerosols (tiny particles that can hang in the air), and not just through respiratory droplets (larger particles) transmitted by close contact with an infected person. 

Long-term care ombudsman report

Quebec’s ombudsman submitted her final report into what went wrong in the province’s long-term care homes during the first wave of the pandemic, saying residents were “cast aside” and imploring the government to right its wrongs by making recommended changes immediately. 

Marie Rinfret says she is asking Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé to provide her with ongoing progress updates, starting this spring, until all 27 recommendations in her report are implemented.

Most of the 3,890 deaths in Quebec during the first wave were among CHSLD residents, while staff watched helplessly, fled the overwhelming conditions or were themselves sick with the virus.

Officials knew how under-resourced long-term care homes were before the pandemic, Rinfret said, yet failed to act accordingly in the first wave. She also highlighted the fact that the homes were expected to deliver services similar to hospitals, despite lacking the expertise and personnel to do so.

Staff and personal protective equipment were transferred to hospitals, but the type of patient surge they expected never came. At the same time, hundreds of seniors were dying in long-term care facilities.

Top COVID-19 stories

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • Fever. 
  • 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.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • 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.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here



(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)



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