On Friday the Province of Quebec gave pharmacists permission to directly prescribe the Paxlovid antiviral drug for COVID-19. People seeking access to the medicine must still provide proof of a positive Covid test and meet the other eligibility criteria outlined on the website of the INESSS, Quebec’s institute for public health excellence.
The Province of Quebec recorded 1,275 people with COVID-19 in the hospital on Friday, an increase of 37 from the previous day. That increase came as a result of 177 new hospital admissions versus 140 discharges. Last week the INESSS published predictions that the number of new hospitalizations per day will likely climb into the 200s in the coming weeks.
Although the number of people with Covid in the hospital system has climbed consistently for the last week, that has yet to have an impact on the number of people in intensive care. As of Friday, that number stood at 62, a decrease of three compared to Thursday.
There were 17 new deaths recorded across the province, for a total of 14,382 since the start of the pandemic.
As was the case with the last several weekends, there was no formal reporting of new COVID-19 data on Saturday or Sunday, meaning that changes over the weekend will only be updated as of Monday morning.
In the Eastern Townships there were there 80 people in hospital with the virus on Friday, two of whom were in intensive care. That brought local numbers back up to around where they were at the end of this past February, after dipping as low as 59 in the month of March.
There were, however, no new Covid-related deaths recorded in the region, keeping the local total at 549.
Meanwhile, the province’s decision to offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccination to seniors living in long term care and other people with incresased vulnerability to the virus meant that nearly 21,000 additional vaccine doses were administered from Thursday to Friday. More than half of those were fourth doses, with another 6,197 being third doses.