By Gordon Lambie
On Sunday the Ministry of Health and Social Services added new emergency measures in five MRCs in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, one of which borders on the Estrie region. The MRCs of Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Les Etchemins, La Nouvelle-Beauce, and Robert-Cliche were shifted back to measures similar to those which were in place across the province at the beginning of the month of January, including a curfew in place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., the closing of all elementary and secondary schools as well as all non-essential businesses, as well as a ban on the sale of items deemed non-essential, among other measures.
The Beauce-Sartigan MRC borders on the Granit MRC, which includes the communities of Lac-Mégantic and Stornoway.
Daily COVID-19 reporting over the Easter long weekend for the Province of Quebec was consistently over 1,100. Monday’s data brought another 1,252 new cases which, added to the 1,154 from Sunday, 1,282 from Saturday, and 1,314 from Friday, increased the total number of people infected to 317, 364. This also brought the number of active cases in the province back above 10,000 after having been below 7,000 mid-March.
The total number of deaths due to the virus climbed by 21, to 10,697, over the period from Friday through Monday. The number of hospitalizations also increased, going from 487 at last report in The Record, to 503. The number of hospitalizations in intensive care also increased over the weekend, going from 119 to 123.
Public Health in the Eastern Townships reported an increase of 20 new cases on Monday which, added to the totals of the previous days, saw the overall number of people who have contracted COVID-19 in the region since the start of the pandemic increase by 101, to 12,142. The number of active cases in the Townships increased by 40 when compared to last week, with 202 spread across the Pommeraie (24), Haute-Yamaska (36), Memphrémagog (18), Coaticook (five), Sherbrooke (69), Val Saint-François (five), Des Sources (10), Haut-Saint-François (one) , and Granit (33) sectors, and one additional case not tied to a particular area yet.
One new death saw the regional total increase to 323, and the number of hospitalizations grew to 12. The number of people in intensive care, meanwhile, dropped to two.
Limited vaccination data was available over the weekend, but the province reached partial vaccination in 18.3 per cent of the population with 1,552,215 does administered out of the 2,127,605 doses received in total so far.
The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests showing a variant was at 65.3 across the province as of Monday morning, and the number of confirmed cases increased by nearly 3,000 over the weekend to reach 11,027. Only 143 of those variant cases have been in the Eastern Townships so far, 23 of which have been confirmed as being the B.1.1.7 variant originally observed in the United Kingdom. So far 1,424 of the 1,592 variant cases that have been narrowed down to a specific through gene sequencing in Quebec have been from the B.1.1.7 form, most of which have been from the Montreal area.