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May 25, 2021- Federal and provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

State of the pandemic in Québec

Québec Premier François Legault said the epidemiological situation in Québec has greatly improved. “The numbers are good. The trend is good. We’re seeing a decrease in cases and a decrease in hospitalizations. The positivity rate is now at 2.3%.”  Just by way of comparison, Mr. Legault explained that, in Ontario, the rate was at 6.2% yesterday, which is more than double.

All of the regions in Québec have dropped statistically below the threshold of 10 cases per 10,000 inhabitants, the threshold used to determine the red alert level.

Québec’s reopening plan for May 28

Mr. Legault reiterated that starting Friday, May 28, across Québec, the curfew will be lifted, restaurant terraces will be permitted to open and backyard gatherings of eight people will be allowed.

On Monday, May 31, Québec City, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, the Montrérégie and Outaouais will move to orange.

Montréal and Laval will go orange on Monday, June 7. This means the reopening  of restaurant dining rooms and gyms.

“I want to tell you that, even in the five regions or sub-regions that are still in red, the situation is improving, and we’re optimistic! The goal is that by next Monday, June 7, all of Québec will be in the orange zone,” said François Legault.

Second dose ahead of schedule in Québec

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced that Québec is speeding up the vaccination rate for the second dose of the vaccine. He will present the details of this strategy on Thursday, May 27.

To get the second dose ahead of time, Quebecers will have to go online, on Clic Santé, and cancel their current appointment. The Québec government hopes to administer the second doses by August 31. So far, over half of the population of Québec has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

By next week, younger people will be able to get vaccinated in walk-in clinics across Québec, which will facilitate the process for this age group.

“In terms of young people, we’re off to a good start, but the job is not done. I am asking young people, if possible today, to book an appointment and to go get vaccinated. I think Québec needs your solidarity so that we can stay on the road to victory,” said Mr. Legault.

State of the pandemic in Canada

Canada is seeing a significant and constant decrease in the trends of the disease.

Over the last week, 5,000 cases were reported daily. This is a 40 % decrease compared to the record level reached in mid-April. The number of serious and critical cases is also decreasing.

Some 3,400 people with COVID-19 were treated in Canada’s hospitals each day, including 1,300 in intensive care units.

Vaccination in Canada

“This year, the long weekend was special, because it marked a turning point in our fight against COVID-19: we’ve reached the milestone of more than half of Canadians having received at least one dose of the vaccine,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

So far, 21.4 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Just over 4% of Canadians have received both doses.

Canada ranks third among the G20 countries in terms of vaccination. By the end of June, the federal government is expecting the delivery of over 14 million doses of the vaccine.

“Canada is completely ready to offer at least one dose of the vaccine to all Canadians by the end of June so that everyone will have been fully vaccinated by September,” said Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.