Public health officials in the state capital will “follow with close attention” the influx of hundreds of thousands of festival-goers into the Plains on Wednesday, urging citizens to exercise caution as the event will have “impacts” on the rise in new cases of COVID-19 in the state Region.
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The upward trend in new infections continues in Quebec as in the rest of the province. As of Tuesday, the region recorded 106 new infections for a total of 1,275 active cases. A total of 139 patients are being treated as inpatients, five of them in the intensive care unit.
In the week of June 26 to July 2, “we recorded 708 new cases, which is a 60% increase compared to the June 4 numbers,” notes the Dright Jacques Girard, Medical Assistant to the Director of Public Health at the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale.
However, the numbers are not “terrifying”, because “we are currently managing to protect our health system”. But that doesn’t stop the authorities from keeping an eye on the summer festival.
“What we are hoping is that it will be limited but there will be an impact. The number of cases is expected to increase as a result of these gatherings, says the Dright Girard.
“We will follow this very closely. We will take that into account.”
BA.4 and BA.5 very present
Omicrons subvariants BA.4 and BA. 5 represent “75% of the cases that circulated last week,” in Quebec, Dr. Jacques Girard. The region is no exception.
These subvariants are currently very present in Europe, particularly in France, which on Tuesday said it had detected just over 200,000 new infections in the past 24 hours.
“That’s one of the reasons we might see an increase because it’s very transferrable. Our population, on the other hand, is very well vaccinated in the Capitale-Nationale region,” said Mr Girard.
Affected medical personnel
This surge in new cases also affects hospital staff, whose members are increasingly likely to be absent for COVID-related reasons.
“I currently have about 325 employees in quarantine or others. We have seen an increase that comes from the last ten days,” notes the Dright Stéphane Bergeron, Director of Professional Services at CHU de Québec.
From “15 to 20 contaminated employees a day” a month ago, he now sees “spikes at 60 a day,” he adds.
Drs. Bergeron and Girard therefore ask the population to be particularly vigilant when attending a large gathering. “You have to take responsibility. If you are symptomatic, stay at home,” urges the Dright Girard.