By Gordon Lambie
All regions that were still under orange alert across Quebec shift to the province’s yellow alert level on Monday morning. Among other changes, this allows for private, indoor gatherings again provided that masks are worn, distancing is maintained, and no more than two households gather at one time.
Over the weekend the province picked up 513 new cases of COVID-19, 151 of which were reported on Sunday. This increased the total number of people infected to 372,989, with 1,836 active cases.
The total number of deaths in the province since the start of the pandemic increased to 11,172, but the number of hospitalizations decreased to 215, of which 58 represent people in intensive care.
Although a small number of new cases were reported in the Eastern Townships over the weekend, the overall number of active cases in the region fell from 109 to 86. The largest concentration of active cases in the region was in Sherbrooke, at 25, followed by Memphrémagog with 20, Granit with 14, Haute-Yamaska with six, five in each of Coaticook, the Val Saint-François, and Haut-Saint-François, four in Des Sources, and two in Pommeraie.
The number of deaths in the region remained stable at 350, and the number of people in hospital for reasons linked to the virus fell to 15, one of whom was in intensive care.
So far, a cumulative total of 6,711,682 doses of vaccine have been received by Quebecers, 382,546 of whom are in the Eastern Townships. Total first dose coverage in the province now sits at 68.6 per cent.
The province is still waiting on more Moderna doses to begin the process of moving up the second dose schedule for that vaccine, but this week people 35 to 59 who received a Pfizer shot for their first does will be able to move up their appointment if desired. This process begins on Monday with those 55 and older, and proceeds by five year intervals each day. The public health authority is strongly recommending the use of the Clic santé website to move up appointments, but assistance is also available if needed at the vaccination clinics in Magog, Sherbrooke, Val-des-Sources (formerly Asbestos), Cowansville, and Granby over the course of the day on Monday.
The CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS is also working on advanced second-dose appointments for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, with new dates and locations to be announced as they become available.