Frustrations mount as fourth wave of COVID-19 sweeps across Quebec


The province’s seven-day moving average for new cases has risen to 775, double what it was a month ago.

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At Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, nearly all COVID-19 patients are now unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated young adults, including some who continue to deny that the virus is serious, even in intensive care.


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And patients who visit the Montreal East Hospital for reasons unrelated to the virus are increasingly expressing frustration with the overloading of the health care system by the unvaccinated, especially as surgeries continue. to be postponed.

For Dr. François Marquis, head of the hospital’s intensive care unit, the situation reflects what will be seen across Quebec as the fourth wave of the pandemic hits the province.

“We’re going to be fine, but the question is what consequences it will have for everyone,” Marquis said this week when asked where he sees the situation evolving.

“In theory, there are still enough unvaccinated people for this to be catastrophic,” he added. “But will it happen?” This is what we do not yet know.


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For another week, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked across the province amid the fourth wave driven by the Delta variant.

Quebec reported 837 new cases, three new deaths and six new hospitalizations on Friday. There are now 95 people in intensive care with COVID-19, the most since May. And the province’s seven-day moving average for new cases has risen to 775, double what it was a month ago.

Speaking to reporters in Lévis, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé warned that there was little room for maneuver in the province’s hospital system and urged those who do not have it still done to get vaccinated.

“If I had one message for us to get through this fourth wave, which we’re managing quite well right now – although it’s a challenge in terms of cases and hospitalizations – it’s that those who are not vaccinated, please do so. therefore, ”Dubé said.


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“We can see it,” he added. “The only people in intensive care are people who are not vaccinated. “

Although cases are increasing across the province, Laval has become one of the regions hardest hit by the fourth wave in Quebec. Despite vaccination coverage similar to that of the rest of the province, the city reports more infections per 100,000 inhabitants than anywhere else, including Montreal.

In an interview this week, Laval’s director of public health, Dr Jean-Pierre Trépanier, said it is difficult to explain why the city is seeing more transmission.

Trépanier said the city’s public health department began to notice the increase shortly after the construction holiday ended. He also noted that, unlike last summer when many borders were still closed, more residents have traveled this year and likely brought the virus back with them.


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“But for reasons that are not yet fully understood, the fourth wave started in Laval before the other regions,” said Trépanier, adding that he suspected Laval was a foretaste of what was to come. elsewhere.

The city has seen an increase in cases among children in recent weeks, a trend that is expected to continue now that schools have reopened.

In mid-July, about 15% of new infections in Laval were detected in children. That number now hovers around 35%, with another third of new cases among people in their 20s.

About 88 percent of the city’s eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 82 percent are fully immunized. But until young children can be vaccinated, Trépanier said, the virus is likely to continue to spread.


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This is why he is “impatiently awaiting” the opening of vaccination for children aged 5 to 11.

“At some point we will reach a tipping point where, by adding those infected and those who are vaccinated, we will arrive at the famous herd immunity,” he said.

“But if we can vaccinate our youngest, hopefully we can reach this point through vaccination, not because of the number of people infected.”

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