Quebec Standard

Monday, February 26, 2024

Quebec probably heading toward 6th surge, says public health director


Key takeaways: 

  • Eight thousand six hundred healthcare workers have been absent in less than a week, primarily due to COVID.
  • Dr. Luc Boileau, Quebec’s public health director, provokes Quebecers to exert more alert in a possible sixth surge of COVID-19. 

Quebec’s interim public health director said all indications point to Quebec leading toward the sixth surge of COVID-19. 

At a press conference Sunday, Dr. Luc Boileau came short of confirming another pandemic surge of illnesses but said the climb in cases in recent weeks caused by the Omicron variant BA.2 suggests one is coming.

Boileau said he would stay up to a pair of weeks to hear from Quebec’s institute of public health (INSPQ) experts before declaring it.

“We’re not in the same position as in December and January, but public health is following all of this very closely,” he stated, noting that the BA.2 variant is even more infectious than the Omicron strain.

“The addition of the variant is problematic.”

He said that the health network had taken a blow from its spread.

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Quebec leading toward the sixth surge of COVID-19

In less than a week, 8,600 healthcare workers have been missing because of disease, mainly due to COVID-19, representing a 60 percent increase in absences. 

Provinces such as Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean, the Côte-Nord, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas Saint-Laurent, and the Capitale-Nationale have all seen a wave in cases. 

Although Montreal has witnessed a milder growth in hospitalizations than other places, Boileau said the variant’s spread is apparent across the region.

He said the BA.2 variant could soon be liable for at least two-thirds of COVID-19 cases in Quebec.

After studying the projections from Quebec’s public healthcare institute (INESSS), Boileau said that the recent trend indicates the number of hospitalizations in the region will probably continue to grow.

No new criteria

He said that Quebec has no plans to reintroduce public health constraints from the last waves.

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