Quebec COVID-19 numbers stay high, with 1,146 new cases Thursday
MONTREAL -- For the second day in a row, Quebec reported more than 1,100 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, tallying up 1,146.
The previous day saw a major spike, with 1,196 reported, the highest number since April. Both days were hundreds higher than the previous days.
On Thursday, there were again two new deaths.
Net hospitalizations, however, dropped slightly, with 227 people in hospital, a decrease of 12 from the previous day -- there were 18 new entries and 30 patients discharged.
Of those, 53 are in intensive care, an increase of one.
Montreal is not the hardest-hit region in the province, but its public health director said in a press conference Wednesday that her team is preparing for another wave of the virus, including reserving 500 hospital beds and ramping up virus sequencing to track the Omicron variant.
She urged parents to speed up their kids' vaccinations, taking them to clinics now rather than wait for visiting nurses to come to their schools, which could take weeks.
Of the province's current 761 active outbreaks, nearly 60 per cent are at elementary schools or daycares.
17 PER CENT OF QUEBEC KIDS HAVE ONE DOSE
The daily vaccination numbers have risen since children ages five to 11 became eligible last Wednesday. On Thursday, the province reported that 27,558 doses were added the previous day.
Nearly 14,000 of those were among children under 12, according to provincial data. Overall, 108,337 children have gotten a first shot, or 17 per cent of all Quebec children in that age group.
In Montreal, public health says 14 per cent of children in that age group have already gotten a shot, and another 16 per cent have appointments.
Among adults, vaccination numbers continue to creep up slowly. The group with lowest vaccine coverage, those 18 to 39 years old, have gradually increased their numbers, with 82 per cent in this group now fully vaccinated.
Among teenagers and people 40 to 59, it's higher: 88 per cent in both groups are fully vaccinated. For those above 60, it's 94 per cent.
The risk of hospitalization for someone who's unvaccinated is currently 15.8 times higher than for a vaccinated person, according to the province's last 28 days of data.
There are 8,869 active cases in the province, another number that continues to climb, and the positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests is at 3.3 per cent, well below the alarm threshold of 5 per cent, but gradually climbing over the last five weeks.
EASTERN TOWNSHIPS RATE CLIMBS HIGHER
Aside from Nunavik, which has seen sky-high COVID-19 numbers for more than two months, the Eastern Townships continues to be the hardest hit among the southern regions.
Its rate of infection rose further since Wednesday, going from 248 to 260 active cases per 100,000 people.
No other southern region has a rate higher than 155, which is Chaudiere-Appalache's current rate. Laval and Montreal both hover just below 130.