By Gordon Lambie
As of Monday a procedural mask is now required for all people living in private seniors’ residences (RPAs) in the Province of Quebec while they are in common spaces or moving around. The change applies to RPAs in the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec, Estrie, Montréal, Outaouais, Laval, Lanaudière, Laurentides and Montérégie administrative regions, as well as in the des Appalaches, de Beauce-Sartigan, de Robert-Cliche et des Etchemins MRCs of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, although the announcement noted that the areas where the rle in in effect may change depending on changes in the pandemic.
According to a notice issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) the change was made in the name of trying to help control the spread of the more contagious Delta variant among more vulnerable populations, along with measures like mandatory vaccination for staff and the use of the vaccine passport for visitors and caregivers.
The Province of Quebec reported 519 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of people infected since the start of the pandemic to 408,462. The number of active cases across the province continued to trend downward slightly, with the most recent data showing a drop to 6,248.
There were also no new deaths reported, keeping that total at 11,356 since March of 2020. There were 299 hospitalizations as of Monday’s report, an increase of two compared to the previous day, and 95 of those people were in intensive care, an increase of five compared to the previous day.
In the Eastern Townships, the institute of public health recorded 288 active cases, an increase of five compared to where things were at the end of last week. Within that total, the number of active cases in the sub regions with the highest number of cases, Sherbrooke and the Haute-Yamaska, both went down, while the number in the Des Sources area increased significantly. Looked at in proportion to population, the Des Source region now has the highest rate of infection with 267.2 cases per 100,000 people, or 38 active cases overall.
Vaccination rates across the province were at 89.3 per cent of those aged 12 and up for a first dose and 85.2 per cent of the same group when it comes to adequate vaccination. Coverage of the entire population of the province is now considered to be 78.2 per cent for a first dose.