By Gordon Lambie
In what Health Minister Christian Dubé referred to on Sunday as an encouraging tendency, the rate of new cases remained fairly stable in Quebec over the weekend.
The Province of Quebec reported 1,006 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday which, coupled with 1,101 from Saturday and 1041 from Friday, brought the total number of people infected to 351,880. Due to the higher number of people classified as “recovered,” the number of active cases declined by more than 500 over the weekend to 9,425.
There were nine new deaths, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 10,942, and the number of people in hospital for reasons linked to the virus and in intensive care both went down. Hospitalizations fell by 49 between Thursday and Sunday, going from 623 to 574, and ICU admissions decreased by eight, going from 165 to 157.
In the Eastern Townships 50 new cases were reported on Friday, followed by 62 on Saturday and 40 on Sunday. Despite those relatively high numbers, however, the number of active cases in the region actually went down slightly, going from 443 to 431.
As of Sunday’s report, there were 147 active cases in Sherbrooke, 140 in the Granit sub-region (focused around Lac-Mégantic), 50 in the Haute-Yamaska, 31 in the Haut-Saint-François, 19 in the Val Saint-François, 18 in the Coaticook area, 17 in Pommeraie (Lac-brome, Cowansville, Bedford), eight in Memphrémagog, and no active cases in the Des Sources area.
Despite Sherbrooke’s slightly higher active case count, the situation in the Granit sub-region, was one of the most dire not just in the townships but across the entire province on Sunday, when seen in relation to its population. At 656.9 cases per 100,000 people, the level of infection in the sector has now surpassed that of the neighbouring Beauce region, which has been under special control measures for more than a month to help contain spread. Information from last Thursday pointed to the communities of Lac Mégantic and Saint Ludger as being particular hot spots, although updated information on the cases in individual municipalities is not updated by Public Health on the weekends.
In light of the severity of the situation in the area, the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS announced the opening of a weekend testing centre in Lac Mégantic for the next three weeks.
There was one new death in the Townships over the weekend as a result of COVID-19, reported on Friday.
There were 20 local hospitalizations as of Sunday, and six people in intensive care.
Vaccination appointments open up today, May 3, for all those 45-49 years old across Quebec. Appointments will be opened for those 40-44 years of age on Wedensday of this week, with 35-39 year olds being added on Friday. A total of 3,218,214 doses had been administered as of Sunday morning, accounting for 36.8 per cent of the province’s population.