Quebec Not Considering Mandatory COVID-19 Measures as Transmission Rises

By Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret
July 14, 2022 Updated: July 14, 2022

Quebec is currently not considering reimposing blanket COVID-19 restrictions despite being in the midst of a wave, said a health official who provided an update Thursday on the situation in the province.

“We’re not going in the direction of population-wide mandatory measures,” said Dr. Marie-France Raynault, senior strategic medical adviser for public health with Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MHSS).

Raynault said while some regions are seeing an increase in cases, others have plateaued, including the Montreal area.

“We’re clearly in a wave, with BA.5 being certainly responsible, but it mainly causes manageable infections without dramatic consequences for those infected,” she said.

Over 40 percent of cases in the province are related to the Omicron BA.5 variant, said the medical adviser.

While community transmission and hospitalizations remain high, Raynault said there were fewer ICU admissions than in previous waves. She attributed this to vaccines preventing serious outcomes.

Raynault said due to waning infection protection from vaccines, individuals should get a booster dose after five or six months, especially those above 60 years old.

On the issue of Canada authorizing the Moderna vaccine for young children on July 14, Raynault said Quebec will wait for the advice of its own immunization committee to decide on the “feasibility, the intensity with which we’ll recommend this vaccination.”

“We know that children are much less affected by COVID, and when they’re hospitalized for COVID, the outcome is very favourable,” she said. “Nevertheless, there are parents with frail children, or themselves are frail or live with elderly parents who are frail who will want to take it.”

Raynault also commented on the federal government’s decision to bring back random mandatory testing of fully vaccinated travellers on July 19.

“The testing can indeed help to identify travellers carrying variants. That said, we have to realize that we already have really, really good local community transmission,” Raynault said. “We can do it on our own without help from our neighbours.

“It’s clear that it’s certainly not a strong program to control transmission in Canada.”

‘Living With the Virus’

Raynault also said it was important to remember that not all hospitalizations are because of COVID-19, but rather “with COVID.”

Out of 1,860 COVID-related hospitalizations in the province, 632 are due to COVID and not another primary cause, according to the latest released data.

She noted that a shortage of hospital staff is a major issue. Over 7,000 health-care workers are absent for COVID-related reasons.

The province is currently out of the phase of trying to stamp out the virus by lockdowns, curfews, vaccine passports, and threatening a tax on the unvaccinated.

Instead, Raynault reiterated what it means to “live with the virus.”

She said people should avoid going out when symptomatic and should wear a mask if going out is a necessity. If symptoms appear, take a rapid test and isolate for at least five days and longer if symptoms persist.

“Living with the virus implies taking simple and efficient measures that can be easily integrated in a normal life.”

Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret