By Gordon Lambie
The provincial government announced that it is delaying its plans to send civil servants back to the office as a result of the current COVID-19 situation.
“The epidemiological situation prompts us to postpone the return to the workplace once again,” said Treasury Board Chair Sonia LeBel in a statement Monday.
The original plan had been to have workers back in person as of October 4, but with the province currently working to control a fourth wave of the virus, it was deemed more prudent to wait until an as-yet undetermined later date.
Quebec reported 679 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected to 403,704, with 6,603 active cases
There was one new death recorded, bringing the total number of deaths due to the virus in the province since the start of the pandemic to 11,326.
The total number of hospitalizations increased by three to 280, although with hospital discharges taken into account, there were 27 new admissions overall.
Of the 280, 92 people were in intensive care, an increase of five compared to the previous day. Those five are the result of 14 people newly admitted to the ICU and nine discharges.
There were 520 active outbreaks being monitored across the province as of Monday’s report.
The provincial public health institute, the INSPQ, made note of 262 active cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Townships. Of that total, 14 were in la Pommeraie, 73 were in the Haute-Yamaska, 11 were in Memphremagog, 110 were in Sherbrooke, 13 were in the Val Saint-François, 10 were in the Val-des-Sources area, eight were in the Haut Saint-François, and 22 were in the Granit. There was no data Monday on the number of cases in the Coaticook region, making it unclear whether the one remaining case was from there or someone not linked to a particular region.
The regional public health department reported a large turnout to local testing centres in Bromont, Granby and Sherbrooke on Monday morning.
The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the Eastern Townships increased to 16, six of whom were in intensive care.
Provincial vaccination rates remained stable at 88 per cent for a first dose and 83 per cent for a second.