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Ahead of summer festivals, Quebec health officials warn of rising COVID-19 numbers

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Ahead of the hustle and bustle of festival season in Montreal, Quebec health officials are asking people to stay vigilant amid rising COVID-19 numbers.

This comes as infection and hospitalization numbers creep up in the province amid what some are calling a seventh wave.

The government blames the rise in cases on several new variants: BA. 2.12.1, BA. 4 and BA. 5.

"These viruses are more easily transmissible," explained public health director Dr. Luc Boileau at a news conference Wednesday. "We estimate, right now, that the majority of cases -- three-quarters of cases -- are related to these variants."

Cases are expected to continue to rise over the next few days and weeks, he said.

"We hope to see a reduction in cases in the next few weeks," Boileau stressed. "We still think it will be possible for everyone to enjoy their summer."

Wednesday, health officials note 34 more people are seeking medical care in hospitals, for a total of 1,260, with four more deaths, for a total of 15,576.

Intensive care unit numbers are down by one, with 35 patients remaining.

Quebec also recorded 1,716 positive PCR tests, for a total of 1,088,744, and 579 self-declared positive rapid tests, for a total of 191,118.

In addition, 6,285 health-care workers have been marked absent from work for COVID-related reasons.

Public health officials are reminding people to follow public health guidelines, such as distancing, washing hands and coughing or sneezing into their elbow pits.

MASK-WEARING ENCOURAGED FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED

Boileau invited people at risk of developing significant complications due to the virus to wear their masks.

In addition, those seeking a booster dose of vaccine are invited to book an appointment on Clic Santé.

The following groups are currently eligible for a fourth dose:

  • People who are age 60 or over when booking their appointment
  • People age 12 and over who are immunocompromised or on dialysis. Eligibility will be assessed at the vaccination site
  • People living in a long-term health-care centre (CHSLD) or a private seniors' residence

People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who have tested positive, must isolate for a minimum of five days and follow all public health guidelines during the course of their illness.

 

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