1) On the eve of a second 5 p.m. news conference tomorrow by Premier François Legault this week, it’s now clear that the #pandemic in Quebec has deteriorated sharply in the past two days. In this thread, I will take stock of the latest worrisome trends.
2) First, let me extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of the 16-year-old student who died of #COVID19 at Sainte-Justine Hospital Saturday, the youngest person in Quebec to have succumbed to the #coronavirus, most likely from one of the variants. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
3) Quebec posted an increase of 29 #COVID19 hospitalizations Wednesday, raising the total in the province to 543. The increase was the highest since Jan. 17, when Quebec was at the peak of its second wave. Yet Health Minister Christian Dubé downplayed the severity of the spike.
4) In Montreal, the number of #pandemic hospitalizations rose by 16 to 256, with Santa Cabrini Hospital alone recording 10. As you can see from the provincial chart below, most people being hospitalized are in their 50s, but there are also those in their 80s.
5) Across Quebec, #COVID19 outbreaks soared by 71 to 913, the highest since Feb. 20. The number of clusters jumped by 53 to 483 in the workplace, by 17 to 240 in schools and by three to 59 in health-care settings. Outbreaks have risen steadily for the past two weeks.
6) In Montreal, Dr. Mylène Drouin, head of the public health department, warned of a surge in variant #COVID19 cases any day now. Drouin said the city resisted the variants for as long as it could. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
7) The total number of #COVID19 outbreaks in the metropolis crept up by seven to 308 from a week ago. But what’s more telling is that the number of clusters in which the more transmissible variants have been detected ramped up by 41 to 156. See the chart below.
8) Since last month, public health officials have acknowledged that the variants are multiplying in schools. But the latest evidence shows that outbreaks have been flaring up more in the workplace. The number in Montreal increased by 18 to 150 in a week’s time.
9) The proliferation of variants in Montreal schools and workplaces, in addition to a prison outbreak in Gatineau and a gym in Quebec City suggest the third wave has truly begun. Legault has claimed Montreal is not problematic, but the city recorded 120 variant cases Wednesday.
10) And tonight, La Presse reporter @ChouinardT has revealed that the number of #COVID19 cases in the provincial capital to be reported Thursday will be nearly double Wednesday’s tally of 250. Does this mean that Legault will announce stricter #pandemic measures Thursday?
11) In neighboring Ontario, Premier Doug Ford issued stay-at-home orders Wednesday in the province’s third state of emergency. An infectious-diseases expert told me the government should impose a “circuit-breaker” lockdown in Montreal and the regions. End of thread. Stay safe.

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More from @Aaron_Derfel

9 Apr
1) The impact of the third wave on Quebec hospitals thus far is not nearly as severe as what is going on in Ontario, but there are ominous signs the situation is deteriorating in the acute-care system here. In this thread, I will examine those signs.
2) As I report in my @mtlgazette column tonight, over-burdened Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital is now offloading #COVID19 patients to nearby Santa Cabrini Hospital. The reason is a severe shortage of nurses. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
3) In the past nine days, the number of #COVID hospitalizations in Quebec has jumped from 487 to 566. The biggest increase is being observed in the 60-to-69 age group, as you can glimpse from the chart below. In the first wave, it was patients in their 80s who were hospitalized. Image
Read 10 tweets
7 Apr
1) A record 27 schools across Quebec announced on Tuesday that they have suspected variant #COVID19 cases. Most are found in the Capitale-Nationale region, which has already shut schools until April 12. But seven schools are located in the Montreal area.
2) On Tuesday evening, Premier François Legault backtracked on his decision requiring Montreal high school seniors to attend classes five days a week. But as the latest list by covidecolesquebec.org shows, the variants are still circulating widely in Montreal classrooms.
3) Legault again asserted that the situation is under control in Montreal. Please let me draw your attention to an article by my @mltgazette colleague @katelynthomas that Montreal's #COVID19 case numbers are again rising from a plateau. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
Read 10 tweets
4 Apr
1) It appears that even during the third wave, mass vaccinations in Montreal may be blunting the impact of the more contagious variants, while these strains surge in other regions with much lower inoculation rates. In this thread, I will focus on the vaccination effort.
2) This is not to suggest that the #pandemic is under control in Montreal, as Premier François Legault claimed last week without evidence. More than three quarters of the city’s population has still not received a shot and the variants are still spreading in the metropolis.
3) The #COVID19 variants struck Montreal first, long before the outlying regions, and the city has accumulated the most cases of the more transmissible strains. But it’s worth pointing out that the variants are now surging faster in regions with much lower vaccination rates.
Read 13 tweets
3 Apr
Breaking: Quebec on Saturday reports its biggest daily increase yet in the number of #COVID19 variant cases: 771, for a total of 9,558. Positivity rate up to 60.3%. Big data dump. More tweets to come.
2) The Capitale-Nationale is surging with #COVID19 variants, up by 338 cases since Friday. The region is posting a rate of 217.9 variant cases per 100,000 residents, the highest by far of any region. Laval comes in second with a rate of 181.8.
3) The Côte Nord records for the first time variant cases, two of them. This means that the more contagious variants like B.1.1.7 are now circulating in 14 of Quebec's 16 regions.
Read 12 tweets
3 Apr
1) Montreal’s hospitals are beginning to report an uptick in #COVID19 admissions during the #pandemic’s third wave, with younger and sicker patients staying longer in intensive-care units. Please click on my column below in the @mtlgazette. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
2) Local authorities are not observing a surge in patients in their 20s and 30s, although there are ICU patients in those age groups. What stands out are intensive-care patients in their 50s. There are also concerns these #COVID19 patients may be a lot sicker.
3) These observations square with findings that the more contagious variants are responsible for more severe #COVID19 hospitalizations. And Quebec is now reporting a lot more variant cases, 687 more since Thursday. See the chart below.
Read 10 tweets
2 Apr
1) Although Premier François Legault has announced lockdowns in Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau, the variant-fueled #pandemic is now rising in nearly every region of the province, the latest government statistics show. In this thread, I will assess this turn for the worse.
2) As you can see from the chart below, #COVID19 cases have ramped up since Wednesday in 15 of Quebec’s 17 regions. Although the number of cases dipped by 21 in the Montérégie, they’re up by 30 overall since March 21.
3) Undeniably, #COVID19 is surging in the Capitale-Nationale, but cases have risen in the past three days in Montreal amid an increase in outbreaks in the workplace and in schools. As I wrote in yesterday’s thread, the situation in Montreal is definitely precarious.
Read 10 tweets

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