Quebec’s provincial health ministry announced a slight change to COVID-19 isolation rules in the province that will come into effect on Saturday, the same day that most of the remaining health restrictions are set to expire.
According to Dr. Luc Boileau, the interim director of public health for the province, people who are living in the same home as a person with a confirmed case of Covid will no longer be required to isolate unless they, themselves, develop symptoms. Close contacts will still be encouraged to avoid public situations where they would remove their masks, such as restaurants or bars, but will no longer have to remain at home as well.
The change falls into a general move on the part of the province towards having people manage their own levels of risk, but Dr. Boileau also used part of his announcement to stress the fact that despite the change, there continues to be a significant risk of infection or death from the virus. This is particularly the case, he said, for people how have not been vaccinated and/or who have not already contracted the disease.
“The pandemic is not over,” he said noting that although the Omicron and new BA2 variant have proven to be less deadly than the previous Delta variant, they are more contagious, and the province continues to report deaths on a daily basis.
Despite that caution, however, the public health director also stated that the current trends in the province show reason to be optimistic about the future, with gradual improvements in the state of the healthcare system as time goes on.
Quebec reported 1,162 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, a decrease of 60 compared to Wednesday, and 68 people in intensive care, for a decrease of one.
The number of people in hospital with the virus in the Eastern Townships dropped down to 67 on Thursday, with three in intensive care.
The province recorded 15 new deaths on Thursday, for a total of 14,141 since the start of the pandemic. There were also two new deaths recorded in the Eastern Townships, for a local total of 542.