COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will make vaccines mandatory for health workers, Legault says | MCUTimes

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will make vaccines mandatory for health workers, Legault says

Masks will be mandatory in CEGEP and university common areas and classrooms, premier announces. As for elementary and high schools, the government is awaiting advice from public health experts.

Article content

Updated throughout the day on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

Advertisement

Article content


Top updates

  • Videos: Legault on the fourth wave and how the Delta variant has changed Quebec’s fall plans
  • Video: How will Quebec’s vaccine passport system be applied to tourists?
  • Quebec will make vaccines mandatory for health workers, Legault says
  • Cases are rising but hospitalizations, deaths are down considerably compared to summer 2020, Dubé says
  • Opinion: Clearing up the confusion about COVID boosters
  • Ontario pauses reopening, outlines vaccine policy for certain workers
  • Biden set to urge booster shots starting next month
  • Legault’s Quebec tour suspended so he can focus on 4th wave
  • Video: Good call or not? Montrealers talk about Election 2021
  • Opinion: Without masks in class, Quebec kids will be victims of 4th wave
  • Unvaccinated far more likely to get infected and to be hospitalized: INSPQ
  • Ontario to require COVID vaccination or regular tests in health-care, education
  • Law professors press McGill to require proof of vaccination
  • Quebec announces latest vaccine lottery winners
  • Almost 75% of Quebecers 12 and older are fully vaccinated
  • Quebec reports 323 new cases and no deaths as hospitalizations rise
  • Opinion: Patience running out for the antics of the unvaccinated
  • Unclear if rising COVID-19 cases in Quebec will lead to big jump in hospital patients
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Advertisement

Article content


5:10 p.m.

Videos: Legault on the fourth wave and how the Delta variant has changed Quebec’s fall plans

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content


5:10 p.m.

Video: How will Quebec’s vaccine passport system be applied to tourists?

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content


4:30 p.m.

Snap lockdown as New Zealand reports 4 more cases

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand will be in lockdown for at least three days while its largest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for seven days

Read our full story.


4 p.m.

Quebec will make vaccines mandatory for health workers, Legault says

With cases on the rise again in Quebec, Premier François Legault says the pandemic situation is worrying.

The fourth wave is being fuelled by the Delta variant, which is more contagious and more likely to send people to hospitals, he told reporters at a pandemic briefing in Quebec City on Tuesday.

The unvaccinated are the most at risk, Legault added.

Hoping to cut COVID off at the pass, he announced new restrictions:

Advertisement

Article content

  • Health workers who deal directly with patients will have to get vaccinated.
  • Masks will be mandatory in CEGEP and university common rooms and classrooms.

Legault said about 90 per cent of workers in the health field are already vaccinated.

But the remaining 10 per cent pose “a real risk,” he added, because even if they’re wearing protective gear they can pass on the virus to vulnerable people.

The government has discussed the issue with opposition parties and will hold National Assembly hearings about the measure, starting next week.

Legault indicated that he expects to oblige these workers to get their first shot by Sept. 1 and a second dose by Oct. 1.

The measure will apply to workers who spend at least 15 minutes with patients.

Advertisement

Article content

It will target people who work in public and private health facilities, including nurses and doctors, as well as workers in seniors’ residences and group homes. Ambulance workers will also be covered.

What will happen to people who defy the new rule? Health Minister Christian Dubé said “administrative” penalties will be imposed but said details will only be announced next week.

For now, the government has no intention to compel teachers and other public servants to get vaccinated, Legault said.

Quebec has a high vaccination rate but it must do better, the premier said.

He urged people who haven’t been vaccinated to do so, and people who have second shots scheduled to advance their appointments.

“The situation is worrying but we do know that vaccines work very well in preventing people from getting COVID and in keeping (people) out of hospitals,” Legault said.

Advertisement

Article content

“Vaccination is going well but the number of contacts will increase with the return to school in two weeks, so we have to do a vaccination blitz in the next two weeks. Please get your first and second dose as soon as possible but ideally in the next two weeks.”

Quebec has gone from double-digit daily case counts in July to more than 300 over the past week.

Cases and hospitalizations are expected to continue to grow in the coming weeks, Legault said, noting daily case counts will likely surpass 1,000.

Despite mounting cases, Dubé said vaccinations are making a difference.

He compared the situation over six weeks this summer (July 1 to Aug. 12) to the same period last year.

Quebec recorded 11 per cent more cases in 2021 – but it had 64 per cent fewer hospitalizations and 87 per cent fewer deaths than in 2020.

Advertisement

Article content

Legault also provided an update on mask rules.

Face coverings will be compulsory at all times in CEGEPs and universities.

“We hope that this measure will be temporary – only for a few weeks – but the virus may still have surprises in store for us.”

Quebec had previously said masks would be required in CEGEPS and universities except when students were seated in a classroom, in the library or during a meal.

As for elementary and high schools, Legault said the government is awaiting advice from public health officials, due “in the coming days.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content


2:45 p.m.

Most inoculated Canadians have little sympathy for unvaccinated people who get COVID, poll suggests

Eighty-three per cent of fully vaccinated Canadians have no sympathy for unvaccinated people who contract COVID-19, a new Angus Reid Institute survey suggests

On the other hand, “those who will not be vaccinated have sympathy for anyone who makes the same choice and does, indeed, become ill,” Angus Reid found.


2:10 p.m.

Opinion: Clearing up the confusion about COVID boosters

“There has been much discussion recently about whether we will need vaccine boosters to protect us as we head into the fall, especially with the increase in the Delta variant’s transmission. The issue of when and if boosters would be necessary has been debated for months, but it took on new importance when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended a third dose for people who are immunocompromised.”

Advertisement

Article content

Read the latest column by Christopher Labos, a Montreal physician.


2:10 p.m.

They didn’t just win the global vaccine lottery by getting their jabs. They also got prizes

The second weekly cash prize in Quebec’s vaccine lottery has been won by a woman from the Laval region.

Read our full story.


1:35 p.m.

Cases are rising but hospitalizations, deaths are down considerably compared to summer 2020, Dubé says

Advertisement

Article content


1:25 p.m.

Legault set to make vaccinations mandatory for some health workers: reports

Premier François Legault is scheduled to provide a pandemic update at 3 p.m. He is to be joined by Health Minister Christian Dubé and public health director Horacio Arruda.

The briefing comes as Quebec prepares to introduce a vaccine passport that would bar the unvaccinated from some non-essential services, starting Sept. 1.

There are also reports that Legault will announce that vaccinations against COVID-19 will be mandatory for some health workers.

I’ll provide a video feed and live coverage here.


1:20 p.m.

Ontario pauses reopening, outlines vaccine policy for certain workers

Via The Canadian Press: 

Ontario will pause all further reopening, start offering third COVID-19 shots to vulnerable populations, and require health and education workers to get vaccinated against the virus or take regular tests.

Advertisement

Article content

The province’s top doctor announced the new measures today, along with several others as part of a response to the highly contagious Delta variant that has been driving a recent rise in infections.

The government says it will pause any further lifting of public health restrictions and will remain in Step 3 of its reopening plan, maintaining capacity limits on businesses and other settings.

It also says transplant recipients, patients with certain cancers, and long-term care and retirement home residents will be offered third COVID-19 vaccine doses starting as early as this week.

Meanwhile, employers in health and education will need to have policies that ask staff to disclose their vaccination status and require those who are unvaccinated to take an education session and be subject to regular tests.

Advertisement

Article content

The policies stop short of mandating vaccines for workers in frontline, high-risk jobs — something health worker groups and other advocates had been calling for.

The province is also expanding eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to children born in 2009, who will turn 12 this year. Children born later than 2009 currently aren’t eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada.

Advertisement

Article content


1:15 p.m.

New Zealand enters national lockdown over one case

Advertisement

Article content


1 p.m.

Biden set to urge booster shots starting next month

From the Bloomberg news agency:

The U.S. government is poised to offer coronavirus booster shots as soon as next month, with the country facing a renewed wave of infections fuelled by the Delta variant.

Biden administration officials are finalizing a plan expected to recommend booster shots eight months after people received their second dose, according to two people familiar with the deliberations who asked not to be identified. The plan is not yet finalized but an announcement could come as soon as this week, they said.

If adopted, the plan could mean booster shots would start as early as September. The proposal would be subject to authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the people said.

Advertisement

Article content

It would also slow the pace of U.S. vaccine donations abroad, which have until this month been driven by surplus doses that might now be held back to serve as boosters. Nearly 170 million Americans have been vaccinated, and thus could be eligible for boosters in the coming months.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for a moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots through September to enable poorer countries to catch up on vaccination rates.

Booster shots would force Biden to revive a flagging vaccination campaign, which began to run out of willing arms months ago. Case loads fell nationally through late spring, only to surge again with the arrival of the Delta variant, which has spread primarily among the unvaccinated.

Advertisement

Article content

The spike in cases has fuelled a relatively small uptick in vaccinations, with an average of about 770,000 daily shots, up from an average of about 500,000 last month.


12:50 p.m.

Legault’s Quebec tour suspended so he can focus on 4th wave

Premier François Legault has suspended his summer tour of Quebec in order to focus on the growing fourth wave of COVID-19.

Read our full story, by Philip Authier.


12:35 p.m.

Video: Good call or not? Montrealers talk about Election 2021

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Article content


12:25 p.m.

Opinion: Without masks in class, Quebec kids will be victims of 4th wave

“After everything we’ve been through and everything we know, it’s painful to feel like we’re almost back to where we were last August when it comes to the health of our kids — especially for those of us who are the parents of children under 12.

“Insufficient measures in schools last fall directly contributed to Quebec’s disastrous second wave. Now we’re poised for a fourth — and this time it will mostly affect kids.”

Read the latest column by Saleema Nawaz.


11:55 a.m.

Unvaccinated far more likely to get infected and to be hospitalized: INSPQ

The unvaccinated and those who have received only one dose are far more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and to be hospitalized due to the disease, says the Institut nationale de santé publique du Québec.

Advertisement

Article content

These INSPQ charts compare the rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations for people who are not vaccinated, who have received only one dose and who have received both doses:


The charts below, from Quebec’s daily dashboard, look at the vaccination status of people who recently tested positive or were hospitalized.

Quebec considers someone fully vaccinated seven days after they receive their second dose.


11:45 a.m.

Ontario to require COVID vaccination or regular tests in health-care, education

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario plans to introduce a set of policies requiring employers in education and several health-care settings to develop strict COVID-19 vaccination policies for their staff.

Advertisement

Article content

A senior government source with knowledge of the decision said cabinet approved the plans on Monday night, with an announcement from the province’s top doctor expected on Tuesday.

The source said Dr. Kieran Moore’s directive covering hospitals, ambulance services and community and home-care service providers won’t make vaccination mandatory, but those who decline the shots will be regularly tested for the virus.

The policy will be similar to one that is already in place in the province’s long-term care homes.

Staff at health-care facilities will need to provide proof of full immunization against COVID-19 or a medical reason for not being vaccinated.

People who don’t take the shots will need to complete an education session about COVID-19 vaccination and will be routinely tested for the virus before coming to work.

Advertisement

Article content

The health-care sector directive will take effect on Sept. 7.

Some Ontario hospitals like Toronto’s University Health Network have already introduced staff vaccination policies along the same lines as the government’s plans.

The source said the Ministry of Education also intends to introduce a similar COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees at all publicly funded school boards and licensed child care settings.

Staff in those sectors who don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 will have to regularly take rapid COVID-19 tests.

There are also plans for vaccination policies to be introduced in other high-risk settings like post-secondary institutions, retirement homes, congregate group homes, children’s treatment centres, women’s shelters and institutional foster homes.

Advertisement

Article content


11:35 a.m.

Law professors press McGill to require proof of vaccination

A group of McGill law professors is pressing the university to institute a vaccine mandate.

They have sent a five-page letter to McGill officials outlining why they feel “the university not only has the legal authority to institute such a policy but has a legal obligation to do so.”

“There are no barriers to McGill requiring proof of vaccination and failure to do so discriminates and poses a risk of civil liability,” one of the professors – E. Richard Gold – said on Twitter.

Advertisement

Article content


11:30 a.m.

Laval, Montreal and Lanaudière have highest per-capita case counts

Health Minister Christian Dubé has said he’s particularly worried about rising cases in three regions.

Today, those areas – Laval, Montreal Island and Lanaudière – had the highest per-capita case counts.

Here’s how many cases each had per 100,000 population:

  • Laval: 10.2
  • Montreal: 6.4
  • Lanaudière: 5.3


11:15 a.m.

Quebec announces latest vaccine lottery winners


11:10 a.m.

Almost 75% of Quebecers 12 and older are fully vaccinated


11:10 a.m.

Updated charts: Quebec cases, deaths


11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 323 new cases and no deaths as hospitalizations rise

Quebec has recorded 323 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

No new deaths were reported.

Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update:

  • Montreal Island: 125 cases, zero deaths.
  • 6 more people are in hospital. Total hospitalizations: 88.
  • The number of intensive-care patients remained stable at 27.
  • 42,634 additional vaccine doses were administered on Monday.
  • 13,956 tests were conducted Sunday, the last day for which screening data is available.
  • Positivity rate: 2.1 per cent.

9:20 a.m.

Opinion: Patience running out for the antics of the unvaccinated

The hypocrisy of anti-vaxxers trying to fraudulently obtain proof of immunity from COVID-19 is astounding but not surprising.

Read the latest column by Allison Hanes.


9:20 a.m.

Unclear if rising COVID-19 cases in Quebec will lead to big jump in hospital patients

COVID-19-related hospitalizations are relatively stable across Quebec despite a steady rise in infections — a sign the province’s vaccination campaign is working, according to an immunology expert.

Read our full story.


9:15 a.m.

The situation across Canada

Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiology update.


9:15 a.m.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec

Local health authorities have set up mass vaccination sites across Montreal.

You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

Quebecers can also visit walk-in AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccine clinics.

Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated, by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

Two private sites can also help you book appointments:

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.


9:15 a.m.

Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec

We are regularly updating our list of what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec, including information on the curfew and other lockdown measures.

You can read it here.


9:15 a.m.

Here’s where Montrealers can get tested today

Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here.


8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can sign up here.


ariga@postmedia.com

Read my previous live blogs here.


    Advertisement

Disclaimers for mcutimes.com

All the information on this website - https://mcutimes.com - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. mcutimes.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (mcutimes.com), is strictly at your own risk. mcutimes.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.

Leave a Comment