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Canada COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says

21:40  08 june  2021
21:40  08 june  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

#ICYMI: Ninth thrombosis case in QC, MTL orange zone, Doug Ford in a Habs jersey

  #ICYMI: Ninth thrombosis case in QC, MTL orange zone, Doug Ford in a Habs jersey Montreal and Laval to switch to orange status on Monday QUEBEC — Montreal and Laval will switch from red to orange COVID-19 status Monday, June 7, leaving no region in Quebec with the red status, Premier François Legault said Tuesday. And on Thursday, Quebec will make public a calendar for people who want to move up their second doses of vaccination. It will be organized by age bracket. Quebecers, in fact, will be able to start making reservations for those appointment changes starting Monday. Read more.

François Legault wearing a suit and tie: Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to reporters' questions during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. © Provided by The Gazette Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to reporters' questions during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City.

Updated throughout the day on Tuesday, June 8. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

Top updates

  • Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says
  • Canada set to ease quarantine rules for vaccinated travellers
  • Tell us about your Clic Santé second-dose booking experience
  • Updated: You can get your second dose sooner – here’s how Quebec’s plan works
  • Quebec reports 150 new cases – fewest in nine months
  • Several thousand Quebecers managed to advance appointments yesterday
  • Some Montreal walk-in clinics are administering second Pfizer doses to seniors 75 and older
  • Glitches persist as 75+ age group becomes eligible to advance 2nd doses
  • More Montreal walk-in clinics open for first doses
  • Quebec students can take masks off in class, education minister says
  • Provincial safety board adjusts rules for masks in workplaces
  • Coming soon: COVID Conspiracies podcast
  • A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter
1:40 p.m.

Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says

(This item is being updated)

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With the situation stable and the vaccination campaign going strong, Quebec is moving ahead with its reopening plan, Premier François Legault told a press conference this afternoon.

Bar terrasses will be allowed to reopen on Friday.

Also on that day, supervised outdoor activities with limited contact, including sports like soccer and baseball, will be permitted with up to 25 people.

As of Monday (June 14), no region will be on orange or red alert. Regions will be either yellow or green.

Montreal and Laval will be among regions that turn yellow on Monday.

In addition, Legault announced that graduation ceremonies can take place with parents in attendance, with restrictions in place.

And since most young people will have received a first vaccine dose by June 23, Quebec will allow high school proms to take place outdoors after July 8. A maximum of 250 people will be allowed.

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“I know how important (proms) are for young people,” Legault said.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, said the government decided to ease restrictions on graduations and proms due to the increasing teen vaccination rate and the improving epidemiological situation.

Dubé said Quebec is working with the federal government on a document that will allow people to prove they have been fully vaccinated, for travel purposes.

Legault indicated that people who are fully vaccinated could be allowed to travel internationally by July, though discussions continue with the federal and other provincial governments.

A reporter asked Dubé about the confusion surrounding Quebec’s system for allowing people to speed up second-dose appointments.

In response, the minister said “he could have been clearer with regards to second doses” last week.

There was confusion over whether people who received Moderna and AstraZeneca could advance second doses.

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Dubé said for now the province’s Pfizer doses are reserved for the 12-17 age group and for people who received Pfizer as a first shot.

Dubé said Quebec is awaiting word on a delivery of Moderna doses, possibly next week. That would allow the province to let Moderna recipients speed up their second doses, the minister said. He said Quebec would prefer that people who received Moderna as a first dose get the same one as a second shot.

As for AstraZeneca first-dosers, Dubé said the province still has AstraZeneca doses in stock and is expecting another delivery. The province prefers that AstraZeneca recipients get the same shot for their second dose.

Dubé did not specifically say if or when AstraZeneca and Moderna recipients would be allowed to get Pfizer as their second dose.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to a rare but potentially blood clot disorder

Both Canada’s and Quebec’s vaccination advisory boards have said mixing and matching vaccines is safe and effective.

1 p.m.

Canada set to ease quarantine rules for vaccinated travellers

From the Bloomberg news service:

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  Minorities risk being excluded by Quebec's proposed language law, Anglo-rights group says Wording by the Quebec government in its proposed amendment of the Canadian constitution could exclude many from the very definition of being a Quebecer, according to an analysis of Quebec's proposed new language law by the Quebec Community Groups Network. The QCGN is an umbrella group made up of English-speaking community organizations. It says the proposed new language law would effectively make the province a "charter-free zone" because of its sweeping use of the notwithstanding clause. Bill 96 was tabled by the Coalition Avenir Québec government May 13.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease Canada’s border restrictions for travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The government is crafting plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for border-crossers who’ve had two vaccine doses, said the people, speaking on condition they not be identified. Travellers entering Canada would still be tested for the virus and may be required to quarantine for a shorter period.

The plan is expected to be announced within days, though the timing could shift, according to the people. It isn’t clear when the changes would be implemented or whether Canada will open up its borders to non-U.S. travellers at the same time.

Pressure has been growing on the Canadian and U.S. governments to relax restrictions that have been in place since March of last year, dramatically reducing land and air traffic between the two countries. A pact that limits non-essential travel is due for renewal on June 21.

Stakeholders and government officials say there’s a sense of urgency now, given that it may be the last opportunity to open up the border in time for the summer season. An extension of the measures for another month would be a huge blow for the tourism sector, restricting movement for the July 1 national holiday in Canada and the July 4 weekend in the U.S.

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  Chris Selley: There is no principle that Ottawa won't readily abandon simply to appease Quebec Justin Trudeau is not known for holding his tongue when it comes to denouncing intolerance, past or present. He has delivered no fewer than eight apologies in the House of Commons , easily the most of any prime minister. He apologized to the Sikh asylum-seekers on the steamship Komagata Maru, which was turned away from Vancouver in 1914, “for (Canada’s) indifference to your plight.” He apologized to the victims of government-sanctioned discrimination against gay and lesbian Canadians: “for robbing you of your potential; for treating you like you were dangerous, indecent, and flawed.

“Businesses need time to plan,” Mark Agnew, a vice president at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said by phone. “Tell us what the road map and the plan and the metrics are.”

The restrictions have hit the nation’s tourism and airline sectors particularly hard — one estimate says the measures cost those industries about C$20 billion ($16.5 billion) in revenue last year.

There are deep economic and cultural links between the two countries that have been interrupted by the travel ban, particularly along the border. Pre-pandemic, Canadians made on average more than 1 million same-day car trips into the U.S. every month. That’s down to just over 100,000 per month over the last 12 months.

The prime minister’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A Canadian government advisory panel last month recommended that fully vaccinated travellers be exempt from quarantine and that a three-day “hotel quarantine” for airline passengers be scrapped.

12:50 p.m.

Fully vaccinated Manitobans be exempt from self-isolation rule

Manitobans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be able to travel within Canada without having to self-isolate upon returning to the province, The Canadian Press reports.

Premier Brian Pallister says new secure vaccination cards will be available to people who have received both doses.

The card will exempt people from the current rule that requires people to self-isolate for 14 days after travelling to another province or territory.

The card will also give people more ability to visit loved ones in hospitals and personal care homes.

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Pallister says the measure is temporary until vaccination is more widespread and the threat from COVID-19 is reduced.

He says the card might also be required in the future for things like sporting events, but no decision has been made.

12:30 p.m.

Tell us about your Clic Santé second-dose booking experience

A reader tells me via Twitter that she managed to book second-dose appointments for her parents late this morning. “Did it in less than three minutes. No issues at all.”

If you tried to book second-shot appointments today, let me know how it went. Send me an email: ariga@postmedia.com .

11:25 a.m.

Updated: You can get your second dose sooner – here’s how Quebec’s plan works

Our guide to advancing second doses has been updated to reflect clarifications made yesterday by the Quebec government.

You can read it here.

11:20 a.m.

Updated charts: Quebec cases, deaths

11:20 a.m.

Update on Quebec’s vaccination campaign

11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 150 new cases – fewest in nine months

Quebec has recorded 150 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

Montreal Island registered 49 infections.

For both the province and the island, those are the lowest case counts since early September.

Hospitalizations fell for the 15th straight day.

Four new deaths were reported, none of which occurred over the previous 24 hours.

Three of the deaths occurred between June 1 and 6, and one occurred on an unknown date.

Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update, published this morning:

  • Montreal Island: 49 new cases, 2 deaths.
  • 2 fewer people are in hospital. Total hospitalizations: 263.
  • 2 more people are in intensive care. Total in ICU: 60.
  • 64,973 additional vaccine doses were administered.
  • 15,101 tests were conducted on Sunday, the last day for which screening data is available.
  • Positivity rate: 1.1 per cent.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported 372,109 cases and 11,156 deaths linked to COVID-19. A total of 358,553 people who have contracted the disease have since recovered.

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10:30 a.m.

Several thousand Quebecers managed to advance appointments yesterday

Yesterday, I asked Quebec’s Health Department several questions about second doses. They got back to me at 5:35 p.m. with this partial answer.

“There were indeed technical challenges with Clic Santé and the telephone line which may have affected some users. Several thousand people who so wished were able to move up their (second dose appointments).

“It should be remembered that bringing forward your second-dose appointment is not an obligation but an opportunity made available due to a larger quantity of vaccine. The appointment that was given to you during your first dose will be honoured.”

The department didn’t answer two other key questions.

Will the schedule for advancing second-doses be changed to compensate those over 80 who were unable to speed up their appointments? And will those who got AstraZeneca be allowed at some point to advance appointments in order to get Pfizer as their second shot?

In a press release published late yesterday afternoon , the department said “for the moment” only those who received Pfizer can move up their appointments.

Hopefully, more answers will be forthcoming later today when Premier François Legault and Health Minister Christian Dubé speak to reporters at 1 p.m. I’ll provide live coverage and a video feed here.

10:10 a.m.

Some Montreal walk-in clinics are administering second Pfizer doses to seniors 75 and older

Yesterday, I asked the health authority that covers Montreal’s central-west area whether seniors who received the Pfizer vaccine at least eight weeks ago can go to walk-in clinics to get their second shot.

“The main priority at the walk-in clinics is to administer first doses,” spokesperson Barry Morgan told me. “This is for the purpose of increasing the overall number of people who have received a vaccine.

“We are also administering second doses at walk-in clinics according to priorities established by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.”

That means front-line workers are eligible, as are Quebecers who are eligible to advance their second Pfizer doses, he said.

That means people 75 and older can go to one of the walk-in clinics today to get their second shot. Tomorrow, it will be people 70 and older, and so on, Morgan said.

There must be an eight-week delay between the first and second doses.

  COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says
10 a.m.

Glitches persist as 75+ age group becomes eligible to advance 2nd doses

Yesterday, I reported on the confusion and glitches that marred the first day when Quebecers could start advancing their second-dose appointments . Day 1 was for people 80 and over. According to the provincial calendar, today, people 75 and older can advance their appointments.

It emerged yesterday that only Quebecers who received Pfizer as their first dose are eligible, contrary to the impression left by Quebec officials when they announced the plan last week. Those who received Moderna or AstraZeneca will have to wait, even if they want to opt for Pfizer for Shot Two.

Some people who tried to get an earlier date for their second dose yesterday found the Clic Santé booking website glitchy. The province’s COVID-19 hotline also crashed.

The hotline is “experiencing difficulties” again this morning, the Health Department said via Twitter .

Yesterday, I published several emails from frustrated readers. I’m still getting messages about the problems and am publishing them here hoping they might be useful to others.

These are from this morning:

  • “I have been trying since yesterday to change the appointments for my parents who got Pfizer shots. The website does not work (I keep getting an error message when I enter their information) and when I try calling the phone number, I either don’t get through or when I do, I get a voice mail message saying that they are overwhelmed with phone calls and to call back and then it disconnects! I understand that this is a HUGE undertaking, but don’t they have people who test out the site BEFORE they open it to the public?? Very frustrating and stressful for all involved.”
  • “It is incredibly frustrating to use Clic Santé online. I’ve been trying to advance my 89-year-old mother’s appointment since early yesterday and still the same error message appears after entering details. Error message states that based on my information the appointment cannot be changed. All given information is correct but the system is clearly malfunctioning. As of today, it is 75+ age group who are eligible so I’d really like to know what happens to the 85+ who cannot change their appointments. Another disaster from the CAQ government.”
  • “Why is Quebec making anyone who didn’t get Pfizer first wait, with seemingly no idea of how long? They gave us false hope, letting us believe everyone would be able to move up their second dose when they knew it wasn’t true. We’ve already waited so long. Why are they even making people who had Pfizer first wait 8 weeks if they have enough supply?”

And these were from last night:

  • “9:10 p.m. and I still can’t register on Clic Sante for the second dose. Not fair for 80+ population – the most vulnerable ones.
  • “By 5 p.m. we were able to book the second appointment. The online service was still showing error messages. The 800 number was still saying to call back later.  A friend called and said she finally was able to get through on 514-644-4545. We tried and after a wait of 20 min a live person answered and my husband was able to re-book. This whole exercise took about seven hours. We appreciate the service you and the Gazette is providing.”
  • “I gave up on Clic Santé and finally got through on the phone for second vaccine.”
  • “I think it’s unconscionable that my mom who will be in the 75-plus age bracket tomorrow will not be able to move up the second dose of her vaccine. She received AstraZeneca in March with questionable consent as when the incidence of blood clots was brought up, the nurse told her a bad batch of AZ had been removed from the supply inventory. We all know in the months that followed what the real story was pertaining to blood clots with this vaccine. So now the people who are younger than her  who got a chance to choose the ‘preferred’ vaccine according to NACI, will also get a chance to move up their vaccination appointments! After having much more information on hand about the risk with a viral vector vaccine, she would like to opt for Pfizer or Moderna, but this will not be possible yet. She has to stick to the 16-week vaccine schedule. This is how we protect the vulnerable with vaccination through our healthcare system?”
9:30 a.m.

More Montreal walk-in clinics open for first doses

This week and next, the health authority that covers west-central Montreal will open more walk-in clinics on its territory and extend hours at others.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

Quebec students can take masks off in class, education minister says

Students who have had to deal with the discomfort of being in a poorly ventilated classroom without air conditioning during a heat wave will get a bit of a break, and be allowed to take off their masks in class, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced on Monday.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

Quebec’s safety board adjusts rules for masks in workplaces

Quebec’s workplace safety board has adjusted infection prevention measures for workplaces, as the province’s reopening plan moves forward.

Among other things, the wearing of masks in workplaces in yellow and green zones will no longer be compulsory, the CNESST announced.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

U.S. report concluded COVID-19 may have leaked from Wuhan lab: newspaper

A report on the origins of COVID-19 by a U.S. government national laboratory concluded that the hypothesis claiming the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is plausible and deserves further investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the classified document.

Read our full story.

9:25 a.m.

Carbon dioxide in the air at highest level since measurements began

Despite a massive reduction in commuting and in many commercial activities during the early months of the pandemic, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere in May reached its highest level in modern history, a global indicator released on Monday showed.

Read our full story.

9:20 a.m.

Coming soon: COVID Conspiracies podcast

  COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned Canada upside-down for over a year. People are locked down, businesses are closed, and everybody’s looking for somebody to blame.

But amid all the chaos, misinformation has flourished. Conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have taken to the internet to spread false information about vaccines, lockdowns, and the virus itself.

In a six-part series that will be launched June 14, Postmedia journalists from across the country will dive deep into why conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have flourished during the pandemic, how their false claims hurt us, and what we can do about it. Hosted by Monique Beaudin of the Montreal Gazette.

You can listen to a preview and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts . It will also be available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Stitcher and other podcast sites.

9:15 a.m.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec

Local health authorities have set up mass vaccination sites across Montreal.

You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated , by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

Two private sites can also help you book appointments:

  • Vaccélérateur, an automated service that scans last-minute availabilities posted by Quebec’s Clic Santé vaccination site, alerts followers on Twitter as soon as appointments come up.
  • Vaxstat was created to help Quebecers find a nearby available slot.
9:15 a.m.

Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec

We are regularly updating our list of what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec, including information on the curfew and other lockdown measures.

You can read it here.

9:15 a.m.

Here’s where Montrealers can get tested today

Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here .

8:45 a.m.

The situation across Canada

Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiology update .

  COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says
8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can sign up here .

ariga@postmedia.com

Read my previous live blogs here.

Related

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec launches portal to download proof of vaccination .
Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, June 16. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Reader mailbag: the highs and lows of advancing second doses Quebec offers workaround to avoid Clic Santé glitches Quebecers 45+ now eligible to advance second vaccine shots Quebec launches portal to download proof of vaccination Next steps on Canada-U.S. border reopening will probably be revealed by Monday: Liberal minister Quebec allows up to 3,500 people at Bell Centre and other venues Trudeau, Canadian delegation check in to quarantine hotel after overseas trip New York governor lifts remaining COVID-19 restrictions, calls it a ‘momentous day’ COVID Conspiracie

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