By Gordon Lambie
Quebec Premier Francois Legault said that the province is monitoring the situation in five specific regions closely following a recent spike in new cases of COVID-19.
According to Legault, the Outaouais, Capitale Nationale, Beauce, Lac St-Jean, and Bas Saint Laurent regions have all seen a worrying rise in cases in the time since they were moved to orange alert status just a few weeks ago.
Despite this new concern, the premier’s message for the province on Tuesday was one of keeping up with the measures currently in place, rather than of imposing new restrictions. He put a particular emphasis on the importance of not getting together in private homes, noting that some families will be inclined to do so over the Easter weekend.
Legault also briefly touched on the decision to temporarily suspend the delivery of AstraZeneka vaccines to adults under the age of 55. He reiterated the fact that the suspension was a precautionary move, and argued that the possible risk of blood clots is small.
“The greater risk is to refuse to get vaccinated,” he said, stating that the province still expects to keep to its timeline of everyone who wants one getting a first shot by June 24.
The Province of Quebec reported 864 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of people infected to 310,066 and the total number of active cases to 8,118. There were seven new deaths, for a total of 10,658, and 487 hospitalizations, an increase of 10. The number of people in intensive care increased by six to 126.
The Eastern Townships reported 11 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 11,994 and the number of active cases to 131. There were no new deaths and the number of hospitalizations and people in intensive care remained unchanged at eight and three respectively.
The number of COVID-19 variant cases recorded in the province as of Tuesday was 6,948, of which 97 were in the Eastern Townships.
The number of vaccine doses administered across Quebec increased to 1,305,840, which accounts for 15.4 per cent of the population of the province. In the Eastern Townships 57,081 doses have been administered, accounting for 10.6 per cent of the population of the region.