By Gordon Lambie
The Eastern Townships reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday for the first time in recent memory. This, combined with only three reported on Saturday and six on Friday meant that the region saw fewer than ten new cases over the entire weekend. Although 20 reported last Thursday caused the number of active cases in the region rise briefly, Sunday saw the number fall again to 49, with the greatest concentrations being in the Sherbrooke and Haute-Yamaska sub-regions. The Coaticook, Des Sources, and Haut-Saint-Francois regions all reported only one active case each and the Granit sector, which once held the highest concentration of active cases in the province, reported only five.The number of hospitalizations in the region increased slightly, to 11, but the region continues to host no one in intensive care.
The total number of deaths in the region due to COVID-19 remained unchanged at 351.
The Province of Quebec as a whole reported 103 new cases on Sunday, following reports of 160 on Saturday and 127 on Friday. Matched up with the recoveries recorded at the same time, this meant that the number of active cases fell to 1,378. The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic rose slightly, to 11,191, but the number of people in hospital and intensive care both continued to decline, reaching 170 and 39, respectively.
Over the weekend the number of doses of vaccine administered in the province increased to 7,325,411, accounting for 70.2 per cent of the population as a whole. As of June 19, first dose coverage among those 12 and older had reached 79 per cent, with second doses climbing to 19 per cent as new age groups become eligible. Of the total, 417,188 doses have been administered in the Eastern Townships, although the precise breakdown of first and second shots is not available on the weekend.
Despite the progress being made in the vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Health and Social Services warned on Friday that more than 500,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine expected over the weekend will not be arriving until June 24 or 25. As a result, existing supply is being prioritized for appointments that have already been made, and the Pfizer vaccine will not be offered on a drop-in basis for the time being.
Beginning Monday those 30 and older in the province are supposed to be able to move up their second dose appointments, followed by those 25 and older on Tuesday and those 18 and older on Wednesday, but it is unclear at this point how the delayed Pfizer delivery will impact that timing.