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Sports COVID updates, April 1: Quebec schools saw 75% jump in pandemic-related absences this week

01:16  02 april  2022
01:16  02 april  2022 Source:   montrealgazette.com

COVID updates, March 18: Tam urges Canadians to keep wearing masks even after mandates lifted

  COVID updates, March 18: Tam urges Canadians to keep wearing masks even after mandates lifted Updated throughout the day on Friday, March 18. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Charest says leaders must listen to health experts on lifting federal COVID mandates Austria reimposes some coronavirus measures – including mandatory masks – to curb record cases Bump in COVID-19 cases ‘not unexpected’ as public health measures lifted, Tam says Public health director urges Montrealers to remain united as restrictions lifted The Great Resignation isn’t over yet: Workers say they’ll quit if they don’t get the flexibility they want Federal committee recommends kids get Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, calls Moderna suitable alternative Tam urges Canadians

Quebec elementary and high school students no longer have to wear masks in classrooms, but they're still mandatory in hallways, common areas and on school buses. © Provided by The Gazette Quebec elementary and high school students no longer have to wear masks in classrooms, but they're still mandatory in hallways, common areas and on school buses.

Updated throughout the day on Friday, April 1. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

Top updates

  • Opinion: Other CAQ policies stand in the way of health reforms
  • 1M doses later, Olympic Stadium vaccination clinic will close next week.
  • Document: Hospitalization trends could rise in coming weeks given recent hike in cases
  • Ontario monitoring long-term-care situation as cases rise, minister says
  • Future waves of COVID-19 likely as Canada undergoes ‘period of transition’ – Tam
  • Quebec schools saw 75% jump in pandemic-related absences this week
  • Quebec reports 17 more deaths as hospitalizations hit three-week high
  • Video: Federal officials release updated COVID-19 modelling
  • Quebec pharmacists can now prescribe Paxlovid treatment for COVID
  • Province urged to expand testing, strengthen messaging as sixth wave begins
  • Montreal employers set to bring staff back two days a week after Easter
  • Deliberate infection trial finds COVID symptoms don’t indicate viral shedding
  • Italy ends COVID-19 state of emergency, curbs to be lifted gradually
  • With carrot and stick, China presses ahead with COVID vaccinations for elderly
  • Quebec COVID guide: Vaccinations, testing
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter
4 p.m.

Thanks for reading

I’ll be back tomorrow with another live blog.

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In the meantime, you can follow all our coverage via the coronavirus page.

My previous COVID-19 live blogs are available here .

3:15 p.m.

Opinion: Other CAQ policies stand in the way of health reforms

“Attracting and accommodating newcomers to the province, to inject the necessary personnel into the system, is essential to the success of the Quebec government’s health reform plan.”

Read Robert Libman’s latest column.

3:10 p.m.

1M doses later, Olympic Stadium vaccination clinic will close next week.

The mass vaccination clinic at the Olympic Stadium will close its doors on Thursday, April 7, the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal regional health authority announced today.

“After more than a year of activity, we are proud to report that the Olympic Stadium vaccination teams will have administered more than 1 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19,” the authority said in a press release.

COVID live updates: Hospitalizations dip as Quebec reports 12 new deaths

  COVID live updates: Hospitalizations dip as Quebec reports 12 new deaths Updated throughout the day on Friday, March 25. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Hospitalizations dip as Quebec reports 12 new deaths François Legault tested positive after feeling ill on way home to Montreal Experts worry about how US will see next COVID surge coming Canadian universities plan in-person convocation ceremonies after lengthy hiatus Germany’s COVID situation probably won’t get better soon How will the Omicron sub-variant BA.

People seeking vaccinations can go to clinics at on e of eight community health clinics  CLSCs) in eastern Montreal , with or without an appointment.

Appointments are available at the Clic Santé booking site or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

2:45 p.m.

Document: Hospitalization trends could rise in coming weeks given recent hike in cases

This document, published today by the Public Health Agency of Canada, provides an overview of the current epidemiological situation:

2 p.m.

Recent studies: Vaccination after COVID improves immunity; ivermectin fails in major trial

Although people who recover from COVID-19 usually gain some immune defences against reinfection, they get additional protection from vaccines, especially against severe disease, according to two studies published on Thursday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Read our full story.

1:05 p.m.

Ontario monitoring long-term-care situation as cases rise: minister

From The Canadian Press:

Worries of more school disruptions are rising alongside COVID-19 cases

  Worries of more school disruptions are rising alongside COVID-19 cases As some health experts warn of rising new COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, parents and school officials are bracing for what a sixth wave may bring to classrooms. According to Quebec education ministry data, student absences linked to COVID-19 rose from a daily snapshot of about 14,000 on March 22 to nearly 24,500 on March 29. It rose again to 27,119 COVID-linked absences, according to figures released Tuesday — the same day the province announced it would extend its mandate for masking in indoor public spaces until at least the end of the month, citing rising new cases and hospitalizations.

Ontario’s long-term care minister says the province is monitoring the situation in long-term care homes as COVID-19 cases rise and 10 per cent of homes report outbreaks.

Paul Calandra says the province expected cases to increase when Ontario lifted most public health measures, but noted that rules like mandatory masks still remain in long-term care.

He says people in Ontario had to move on and live with COVID-19, including residents in long-term care who last month saw restrictions on visits and other social activities loosen.

The province also recently removed virtually all general public health measures like mandatory masks in most public spaces, crowd capacity limits and proof-of-vaccination rules.

Cases and hospitalizations are now ticking upwards again, including in long-term care homes, but the province’s health minister has said the government isn’t considering bringing in new measures.

Calandra says vaccinations have made long-term care safer and the province will keep providing resources to protect residents.

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12:15 p.m.

Future waves of COVID-19 likely as Canada undergoes ‘period of transition’ – Tam

From The Canadian Press:

COVID live updates: Swab nose and throat to boost rapid-test sensitivity, Quebec says

  COVID live updates: Swab nose and throat to boost rapid-test sensitivity, Quebec says Updated throughout the day on Friday, April 8. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com Top updates Swab nose and throat to boost rapid-test sensitivity, Quebec says U.K.’s Johnson refuses to rule out further COVID lockdowns as travellers brace for weekend chaos Canada offers more money to COVAX while vaccine dose donations stall Videos: Highlights of today’s Quebec pandemic update Video: Reporter has embarrassing hot-mic moment during Boileau briefing Quebec hospitalizations expected to keep rising for two weeks: Boileau Quebec reports 30 more deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise McCann won’t run in next election, with Blais also expected to bow out of poli

Canada’s chief public health officer warned Friday the country is in a period of pandemic transition that might see further waves of COVID-19 cases this year.

“We anticipate that progress will not be linear, and there will likely be more bumps along the way, including a resurgence in cases this spring, and likely also in the fall and winter,” said Dr. Theresa Tam.

COVID-19 is still circulating widely and the risk of re-emergence remains, Tam said during a news briefing.

Tam advised Canadians to keep wearing masks and ensure vaccinations are up to date due to the risk of a rise in cases and in light of reduced public health measures.

Canada is observing a steady increase in the BA.2 variant of COVID-19, and ongoing genomic surveillance will remain crucial for monitoring variants of concern, she said.

Keeping an eye on wastewater trends can also be a helpful tool for monitoring COVID-19 transmission in communities, Tam said.

An increase in in-person activities, the presence of the BA.2 variant and waning immunity might have played a part in the increase in transmission.

Tam said that as of Thursday, daily average case counts had increased by 28 per cent nationally, suggesting a resurgence is underway.

Hospitals grapple with ‘historical’ staff absences, burnout amid 6th COVID wave

  Hospitals grapple with ‘historical’ staff absences, burnout amid 6th COVID wave Infectious disease specialists say a growing number of health-care workers are calling in sick with COVID-19, while many are also struggling with burnout from the pandemic.As provinces grapple with a sixth wave of the pandemic, a growing number of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are calling in sick with COVID-19, raising concerns about the availability and quality of care for patients.

A rise in hospitalizations could therefore be seen in the country, Tam said, noting that these trends may vary by region.

But she added Canadians are now in a better position to live with the virus, and the overall effect on the health-care system might be more manageable due to high immunity in the population from vaccination and recent infection.

11:55 a.m.

Quebec schools saw 75% jump in pandemic-related absences this week

The surge in the number of Quebec students absent due to COVID-19, which began last week , continues.

Seventy-five per cent more students were absent on Tuesday compared to a week earlier, according to an analysis of data supplied by the Education Department.

A total of 24,489 students were absent, compared to 14,015 a week earlier.

The numbers include children who tested positive as well as those who were self-isolating without a positive test.

Of the 24,489 absent on Tuesday, 13,618 were elementary school students, with 10,098 from high schools and 773 in adult education.

A week earlier, 7,882 elementary school students were absent, with 5,716 from high schools and 417 in adult education.

The number of teachers absent because of COVID is also increasing.

On Tuesday, 1,621 were absent.

That compares with 936 last week.

The change represents a 73-per-cent increase.

11:50 a.m.

Chart: Current situation vs. one year ago

11:50 a.m.

Charts: Quebec cases, deaths

11:50 a.m.

Charts: Quebec’s vaccination campaign

11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 17 more deaths as hospitalizations hit three-week high

Quebec has recorded 3,182 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

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The case tally only includes people who received PCR tests at government screening clinics. It does not accurately reflect the number of cases since it does not include the results of home rapid tests.

In addition, 17 new deaths were reported, bringing the cumulative total to 14,382.

Hospitalizations continue to rise and have not been this high in more than three weeks.

Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update:

  • Montreal Island: 638 cases, zero deaths.
  • Net increase in hospitalizations: 37, for total of 1,275 (177 entered hospital, 140 discharged).
  • Net decrease in intensive care patients: 4, for total of 62 (9 entered ICUs, 13 discharged).
  • 21,139 PCR tests conducted Wednesday.
  • 20,898 vaccine doses administered over previous 24 hours
11 a.m.

Video: Federal officials release updated COVID-19 modelling

10:10 a.m.

Quebec pharmacists can now prescribe Paxlovid treatment for COVID

As of today, Quebecers who have COVID-19 can turn to pharmacists for prescriptions for Paxlovid, an oral treatment that reduces the severity of symptoms and the risk of hospitalization or death.

The drug is reserved for people at risk of developing serious complications, the provincial government says. They include people who are severely immunocompromised or who have chronic illnesses and are inadequately vaccinated.

The Order of Pharmacists of Quebec is urging people interested in Paxlovid not to physically go to pharmacies if they have tested positive.

“In these situations, if you are one of the target clientele, contact your pharmacy instead for a telephone consultation,” the order said in a statement.

It noted that the drug should be taken within five days of the onset of symptoms.

Pharmacists “will carry out an assessment,” the order said. “Following this, (he or she) will judge whether a prescription is possible. They could decide, for example, not to prescribe the medication or to refer you to another professional.”

Here’s what the Quebec government’s COVID website says about eligibility for Paxlovid:

According to the recommendations issued by the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS), Paxlovid is intended for people with COVID-19 who are at high risk of complications and meet the following criteria:

  • Adults who are moderately to severely immunocompromised owing to an underlying condition or the treatment they are receiving for this condition (regardless of their vaccination status);
  • People aged 60 or older, not adequately vaccinated (fewer than two doses) or not protected against COVID-19;
  • People aged 18 or older, not adequately vaccinated (fewer than two doses) or not protected against COVID-19, and presenting with one of the following health conditions:
    • hemoglobinopathy,
    • obesity with a body mass index greater than or equal to 35,
    • diabetes,
    • chronic kidney disease,
    • liver failure,
    • high blood pressure,
    • cardiovascular and atherosclerotic disease,
    • chronic respiratory disease (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or moderate to severe asthma);
  • Adolescents weighing at least 40 kg and pregnant women, who present with at least one of the conditions listed above and who are not adequately vaccinated (fewer than two doses) or not protected against COVID-19, after discussion with a medical specialist or an experienced health professional;
  • Exceptionally, adults who are adequately protected or vaccinated presenting with a very high risk of COVID-19 complications (for example, very old age, several co-existing medical conditions among those listed above, especially if uncontrolled, and with poor protection against the circulating variant despite a complete vaccination series), after discussion with a medical specialist or an experienced health professional.
9:30 a.m.

Quebec urged to expand testing, strengthen messaging as sixth wave begins

With Quebec now in the sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts are calling on the province to increase its testing capacity and strengthen messaging around the virus.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

Montreal employers set to bring staff back two days a week after Easter

Many local employers are drawing up firm plans to bring staff back to the office at least two days a week after Easter, according to the city’s biggest business lobby group.

“The end of voluntary return protocols is coming,” Michel Leblanc, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, said in an interview.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

Deliberate infection trial finds COVID symptoms don’t indicate viral shedding

The world’s first “human challenge” trial in which volunteers were deliberately exposed to the coronavirus has found that symptoms did not affect how likely an infected person is to pass the disease on to others.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

Italy ends COVID-19 state of emergency, curbs to be lifted gradually

Italy on Friday began to phase out its COVID-19 restrictions, ending a state of emergency public authorities declared more than two years ago that allowed it to bypass bureaucracy and swiftly impose rules via decrees.

Read our full story.

9:30 a.m.

With carrot and stick, China presses ahead with COVID vaccinations for elderly

In China’s southern Guangdong province, a teacher was told by her school that she must somehow find four unvaccinated individuals aged 60 or older and get them to take COVID shots to help boost the district’s elderly inoculation rate.

Read our full story.

9:15 a.m.

Quebec COVID guide: Vaccinations, testing

Vaccinations

  • You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.
  • The government has posted information about first doses, second doses and third doses (booster shots).
  • We have put together a guide to getting vaccinated in Quebec, including the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

Testing

  • Quebec now limits access to PCR tests at government screening centres to specific priority groups, such as health workers in direct contact with the public, Indigenous communities and the homeless.
  • The province is distributing free home rapid tests via pharmacies.
  • Quebec has published a guide explaining when and how to use rapid tests, as well as a flowchart outlining what to do when you have results.
8:30 a.m.

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ariga@postmedia.com

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