January 6, 2022 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the provincial government in connection with COVID-19 pandemic.
Expansion of the vaccine passport
Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, Daniel Paré, Director of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Québec and Lucie Opatrny, Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for university, medical, nursing and pharmaceutical affairs at the Ministère de la Santé, announced new measures taking effect January 18.
“The Omicron wave is really like a tidal wave that is sweeping through all Western countries, and Québec is no exception,” Mr. Dubé said. “Unfortunately, we have to protect unvaccinated people from themselves and safeguard our healthcare system. If the unvaccinated are unhappy with this situation, there is a very simple solution: get vaccinated.”
Starting January 18, the vaccine passport will be required to enter Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) outlets.
Other non-essential services, including personal care, will be added to the list of places where the vaccine passport will be required in the coming weeks.
Mr. Dubé also pointed out that the booster dose will be added to the vaccine passport as soon as a majority of citizens have had access to it.
New dates for booster dose appointments
The opening dates for booking appointments have been moved forward. People aged 50 and over can register as of today.
Here are the new dates:
- 45 years and over: January 7
- 40 years and over: January 10
- 35 years and over: January 12
- 25 years and over: January 14
- 18 years and over: January 17
As previously stated, the government hopes to administer more than 100,000 doses per day, in particular booster shots.
Citizens can book an appointment on Clic Santé.
In the coming weeks, a self-reporting platform will be made available on Québec.ca for people to record their rapid-test result themselves.
This tool will help better assess the rate of positive results in the population.
Critical situation in hospitals
The latest update on COVID-19 in Québec reports 15,874 new cases and 1,953 hospitalizations. The plateau of infections still does not seem to have been reached.
More than 20,000 employees are currently absent from the healthcare system, isolated at home due to COVID-19.
According to projections by the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS), there will be 3,000 short-term hospitalizations and 400 intensive-care hospitalizations by January 17.
Work is currently underway with the Ministère du Travail and the Conseil du trésor to acquire more staff in order to open 1,000 additional beds for COVID-19 patients.