For the first time since the Easter long weekend, Quebec's interim National Director of Public Health, Dr. Luc Boileau, is expected to provide an update on the current COVID-19 situation in the province.

He is slated to speak at 1 p.m. Thursday, accompanied by Associate Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lucie Opatrny.

Last week, Boileau made a point of not recommending any new health measures, saying instead he intends to continue with plans to remove mandatory indoor mask mandates by the end of April.

He argued people should be able to estimate their own risks, considering that the current Omicron and BA.2 variants are less virulent than their predecessors.

Wednesday, Quebec reported 26 new deaths related to COVID-19 and an increase of 100 hospitalizations from the previous day, for a total of 2,381 people, including 101 in intensive care units.

In addition, 10,833 health care workers remain absent for COVID-19-related reasons, such as precautionary withdrawal or isolation.

Last week, Boileau mentioned Quebec was also entering a new flu season, which could put an additional burden on the health care system.

He urged Quebecers with flu-like symptoms, even with a negative test result, to isolate themselves to avoid infecting others.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 21, 2022.