By Gordon Lambie
The situation regarding COVID-19 in the Province of Quebec continued to improve over the weekend, with Sunday’s report bringing fewer than 200 new cases for the first time since the beginning of last September. As a part of the province’s progressive reopening plan, Monday marks the day that all regions still under red alert status, including the Granit area in the Eastern Townships, shift back to orange.
There were a total of 686 new cases reported across the province between Friday and Sunday, but the total number of active cases fell by 605 over the same period, going from 3,356 to 2,751. The total number of deaths reported since the start of the pandemic increased by five over the weekend to 11,149, but the number of hospitalizations continued its decline, going from 317 to 274. The number of people in intensive care also decreased from 68 to 61.
There were 38 new cases of the virus reported in the Eastern Townships over the weekend, but the total number of active cases in the region fell by 62 over the same period of time, to reach 169. The Granit sub-region continues to be the area with the greatest number of active cases, at 53, followed by 41 in Sherbrooke, 22 in the Haute Yamaska, 20 in Memphrémagog, 10 in Coaticook, nine in Des Sources, six in the Haut-Saint-François, four in the Val Saint-François, three in the Pommeraie area, and one not associated with a particular area.
There were no new deaths, and only one of the 25 people hospitalized in the region due to the virus was in intensive care on Sunday.
Monday marks the day that those 80 years of age and older can start to reschedule their second vaccine dose after the time limit between doses was reduced to eight weeks last week. New appointment dates will open up for a new age group each weekday, with those 75 and up able to reschedule as of Tuesday, those 70 and up as of Wednesday, and so on. The process will continue in five-year intervals up to June 23, at which point everyone 18 years of age and older will be able to reschedule their second dose, if desired.
To date 6,085,750 doses of vaccine have been administered across the province, accounting for first-dose coverage in 65.3 per cent of the total population. Of that total, 351,667 doses have been given out in the Eastern Townships.