The Province of Quebec reported 1,934 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people infected to 232,624, 199,920 of whom have now recovered. The data also reported 47 new deaths, but the total number of deaths only increased by 45 as two deaths previously recorded were shown not to be connected to the virus. The number of hospitalizations increased by 61 compared to the previous day, for a cumulative total of 1,497. Among these, the number of people in intensive care increased by 10, for a total of 221. Finally, 7,058 doses of vaccine were administered yesterday, for a total of 99,510. To date, 115,375 doses have been received. The rest is in transit through the health and social services network.
The Estrie region, meanwhile, reported fewer than 100 new cases for the second day in a row, with 77 being added to the overall total of 9,362. Even if the number of new cases decreased, however, hospitalizations in the region remained high as 72 of the 74-bed capacity reported as full. The number of people in intensive care remained stable at 10, however three new deaths were recorded at the Argyll Hospital and residence and the Saint-Vincent Residence in Sherbrooke and the Place Primevère Residence in Waterloo.
In his weekly update on the situation in the Townships, regional public health director Dr. Alain Poirier was positive about the two days of lower numbers but pointed out that “two days is not reason to applaud.”
Poirier’s update mainly consisted of repeated messages about cooperating with public health investigations and reminding the public that asymptomatic people who have not had contact with someone who is COVID positive and have not been contacted by public health need not go get tested. He echoed Provincial public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda’s words, however, that the Influenza virus is essentially nonexistent in Quebec this year, and that people presenting flu-like symptoms most likely have COVID-19.
People who have had contact with a COVID-positive individual should self isolate and get tested 6-14 days after exposure, he said, as testing too early is less likely to provide an accurate result.
Collette Bellavance, Director of Professional Services with the CIUSSS de l’Estrie CHUS, meanwhile, said that the local hospitals are preparing to enact their plan that will expand capacity for short-term COVID patients by 50 per cent. Once in place, capacity for local hospitalizations will increase from 74 to 111. Although this will have some impact on some non-emergency medical procedures, she said that much of that postponement has already taken place.
“This is not what was wanted for the beginning of this year, but it is where we are,” she said.
Bellavance also said that eight of the 72 individuals currently in local hospitals are transfers from other regions, but argued that the whole health system needs to work together to keep from being overwhelmed.
“We need to share access to everyone who is entitled to it,” she said.