By Gordon Lambie
On Friday the age limit to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments dropped to 65, making it possible for almost all of those considered to be at the highest risk from the virus to get their shot. To date more than 97 per cent of deaths due to COVID-19 have been among those aged 60 and up. The provincial government has committed to ensuring that everyone receives a first dose by June 24.
The Province of Quebec reported 648 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after having added 775 on Saturday and 764 on Friday, bringing the total number of people infected since the start of the pandemic to 302,339. As of Sunday there were 6,800 active cases across Quebec.
There were five new deaths recorded on Sunday following seven on Saturday and 11 on Friday, for a total of 10,599. The total number of hospitalizations in Quebec dropped by 18 over the weekend, to 501, but the number of people in intensive care increased by one compared to Thursday, for a total of 102.
Sunday’s figures also saw another 28,543 doses of vaccine administered across the province, increasing the total to 944,793 out of the 1,050,355 doses of vaccine that have been received so far. This figure accounts for first-dose vaccination in about 11 per cent of the total population.
In the Eastern Townships, there were six new cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Sunday, following the addition of 15 on Saturday and 13 on Friday.
As of Sunday’s figures, there were 131 active cases across the Eastern Townships’ local service networks: 12 in La Pommeraie, 46 in the Haute-Yamaska, 11 in Memphrémagog, two in Coaticook, 19 in Sherbrooke, three in Val Saint-François, 28 in Des Sources, two in Haut-Saint-François, and seven in Granit, along with one whose territory had yet to be confirmed.
After a week without any new deaths, this weekend brought news of one more, increasing the number of people who have died as a result of the virus to 318.
There was a slight increase in local hospitalizations over the weekend, with 13 now in hospital for COVID-19 related reasons as compared to Thursday’s 12, and the number of people in intensive care remained the same, at three.
The number of confirmed variant cases in the province only increased by one over the weekend, but another 561 were added to the list of presumptive cases that are in the process of being verified by the public health institute. The number of variant cases confirmed in the Eastern Townships remains stable at nine, all of which were of the B.1.1.7 variant originally detected in the United Kingdom.