Masks to remain until at least mid-May

By Gordon Lambie
Masks to remain until at least mid-May

Quebec will be holding onto its masks for at least two weeks longer according to Quebec’s interim Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau. Speaking with media on Thursday afternoon, Boileau said that despite some signs that the sixth wave may be coming to a peak in the province, there is still enough uncertainty following the Easter weekend to maintain the requirement for masks in public spaces a little longer.

The public health director said that there are some indications that the situation is improving overall, but at the moment these indications are not clear across all age groups and regions.

At the same time that COVID-19 may be calming down, however, the late-season flu that was announced last week is spreading more widely, adding a different kind of pressure to the hospital system.

“We think this will continue in the coming weeks,” he said.

Given the similarity between the symptoms of the two viruses, Boileau repeated the recommendation that people treat all flu-like symptoms the same and self-isolate while symptomatic. An unfortunate by-product of the flu’s late arrival is that influenza vaccinations received in the fall are likely not making much of an impact at this point. Despite that fact, however, Boileau said that there is no push for people to go out and get an additional flu shot now.

The Province reported 2,405 people in hospital with Covidon Thursday, an increase of 24 compared to the previous day. 918 of those people were admitted specifically because of the virus. There were 88 people in intensive care across the province, a decrease of 13 compared to the previous day. 58 out of the total were admitted for Covid.

There were 38 new Covid-related deaths recorded, increasing the provincial total to 14,778 since the start of the pandemic.

The Eastern Townships, meanwhile, reported the highest number of Covid-related hospitalizations to-date at 170 with three in intensive care. The previous highest total was 169, recorded in mid-January, at which point the region had 27 in local ICUs.

There was also one additional death linked to the virus in the region, bringing the local total to 569.

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