By Gordon Lambie
The CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS announced the complete reopening of the emergency department at the Coaticook hospital on Monday after just over a month of reduced hours. Originally cut back to daytime-only hours as of July 14 due to staffing shortages, the department will now receive people with emergency medical needs through the night as well.
The partial closure was one of several similar situations that has developed in the region and across the province. Last week the CIUSSS announced the closure of the Val-des-Sources Hospital, but not its emergency department, for at least a month for similar reasons.
As of Monday afternoon, five of the region’s eight emergency departments were over capacity.
The Province of Quebec recorded 1,163 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, 409 of which were from Sunday. This increases the bringing the total number of people infected since the start of the pandemic to 381,996, with 2,924 active cases. There was one new death recorded over the weekend, but due to the withdrawal of one previously-reported death that was deemed not related to the virus the total number of deaths remained unchanged at 11,242. The number of hospitalizations increased by two, to 82, with 27 of those being in intensive care.
The next update from the regional public health department in the Eastern Townships is due Tuesday morning, but according to Quebec’s institute of public health, the INSPQ, the number of active cases in the area increased by 40 over the weekend to reach 166.
The INSPQ recorded 145 new cases of COVID-19 in the Townships over the last week as a whole. Specific case numbers were not available on Monday for the Haut-Saint-François, Des Sources, Val Saint-François, and Coaticook sub-regions, but the majority of the active cases were attributed to Sherbrooke, where there were 81, and the Haute-Yamaska, where there were 62.
There have been no new deaths locally as a result of the virus, but the number of hospitalizations also increased to seven over the weekend, two of whom are in intensive care.
When it comes to vaccination, 85.1 per cent of the eligible population has now received a single dose, while 73.5 per cent are considered adequately vaccinated. According to Health Minister Christian Dubé, the province’s 18-29 year-olds were 8,841 doses away from reaching 75 per cent coverage for a first dose on Monday.