Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations drop by more than 100; 50 new deaths reported
Quebec has recorded 50 new deaths due to COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with other indicators continuing to drop, showing the Omicron wave is still waning.
The total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped again from Tuesday to Wednesday, this time by over 100. There are 122 fewer people in hospital overall, for a current total of 2,730, the province reported.
That included 206 people newly admitted and 328 newly discharged.
There was a decrease of 14 patients in intensive care after 23 were admitted and 37 left the ICU unit, adding up to a current total of 204.
The province reported 3,816 new cases of the virus, but official tests are still limited to a very small sector of the population, making the number an unreliable indicator.
The positivity rate of those tests is at 11.6 per cent, roughly steady with the rate over the last two weeks.
More than 50,000 Quebecers have self-reported their home rapid tests so far using the province's new online platform.
Since yesterday, 1,000 reported new at-home positive results in the last 24 hours.
UNVACCINATED FAR OVERREPRESENTED IN HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS
Of the new hospitalizations, there are nine children under the age of five, an age group that cannot yet be vaccinated. There were also two children aged five to 11 of unknown vaccination status.
Of those under 60 who are newly hospitalized, there was a roughly even split between those with two doses (23 admitted) and those who were unvaccinated (21 admitted). Another four people in that age group only had a first dose. Another 14 people under 60 were admitted after getting all three doses.
Of those over 60 newly in hospital, a slim majority, 49 people, had their boosters. There were another 42 in that age group who were unvaccinated and 40 who had two doses.
However, considering there is only a very small minority of Quebecers who are unvaccinated, that group is still far overrepresented in hospital admissions, coming in at half or nearly half of admissions. Based on the last month's statistics, the risk of hospitalization for the unvaccinated is 5.9 times higher than for the vaccinated.
CHILDREN UNDER 12 STILL LAGGING IN VACCINE COVERAGE
The province gave out 36,616 new booster shots on Tuesday, among about 50,000 total shots. That brings Quebec's booster coverage to 46 per cent of the population.
The group lagging the furthest behind in overall vaccine coverage remains children aged five to 11, only 63 per cent of whom have a first shot.
However, those children whose parents have decided to get them vaccinated are now getting their second shots in big numbers. On Tuesday, only 803 new children got their first shot, but 8,527 kids got a second shot, outpacing any other age group in second shots.
There are also big differences between age groups when it comes to booster uptake. Only 29 per cent of people aged 18 to 39 have a booster, while 51 per cent of those aged 40 and 59 now have third shots, and 80 per cent in the eldest category.
However, boosters have only been open to those under 40 for about two weeks.
This is a developing story that will be updated.