Covid-19 update: 339 active cases in Outaouais
Big news is antiviral medication for select population
As of March 18, there are 43 new Covid-19 cases reported in Outaouais. There are currently 339 active cases in the region. This brings the total number of cases in the area since the beginning of the pandemic to 35,842. There have been 289 Covid-19 related deaths in the Outaouais. Currently, there are 5 individuals with Covid-19 in hospital, of those two are in intensive care. A total of 42 CISSSO employees currently have the virus.
The majority of Covid-19 cases are in Gatineau, with 25,273 cumulative cases and 199 active. The MRC de Papineau has had a total of 4,808 cases and currently has 58 active cases; the MRC de Pontiac has had a total of 1,216 cases and currently has 24 active cases; the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais has had a total of 2,818 cases and has 32 active cases; and, the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau has had 1,564 total cases and currently has 20 active cases. The origin of six cases is yet to be determined.
–Provincial safety regulations updated
On March 17, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS) announced that access to the antiviral Paxlovid is being expanded and will be available at community pharmacies. In order to have access to the antiviral an individual must test positive, be prescribed the medication and t fit into the categories that are currently permitted to take the antiviral.
The antiviral will be available for adults that are moderately to severely immunocompromised because of an underlying condition or treatment of that condition. It will also be available for those partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, those who are living with certain health conditions, women who weigh less than 40kg or pregnant, and individuals that are at higher risk.
The MSSS notes that in order to be most effective the antiviral should be initiated to the individual within 5 days of onset of symptoms. The medication can reduce the likelihood of hospitalization by nearly 89% in vulnerable patients. For more information and the specific list of conditions visit www.msss.gouv.qc.ca.
— Mask mandate dropping in mid-April
Earlier in the month, Quebec announced that starting mid-April at the latest, masks will no longer be required in public places, except on public transport. By mid-May, masking will no longer be required for public transit.
Those who are vaccinated or have already had Covid-19 will no longer need to self-isolate after a contact with a Covid-19 case at home. These individuals will have to take measures to protect others for at least 10 days following such contact by monitoring their symptoms, wearing a mask while around others, and avoiding close contact with others.
–Vaccination and testing
Municipal, provincial and federal governments continue to encourage citizens to get vaccinated and stay up to date with boosters.
Individuals hoping to get their first or second vaccination can do so at six walk-in clinics in the region or book their vaccine appointments by visiting https://portal3.clicsante.ca/ or by calling 1-877-644-4545.
The Gatineau testing clinic is located at 135, St-Raymond Blvd and is open weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. Rapid antigen screening tests are available to individuals at pharmacies, depending on the stock at each location.
To report a positive or negative rapid test, individuals can visit Québec.ca/testcovid-19 to declare.