Quebec Well being Minister Christian Dubé and public well being officers are as soon as once more recommending Quebecers put on masks in crowded public areas.
The federal government mentioned the measure is advisable for individuals of all ages, but it surely stopped in need of making it obligatory within the province. The federal government isn’t extending its suggestion to colleges and daycares, mentioned Dubé.
The measure comes amid rising concern the well being system is being overburdened by rising circumstances of respiratory sicknesses, corresponding to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu and COVID-19.
Dr. Luc Boileau, the province’s public well being director, mentioned the masking measure is aimed toward curbing all three of these viruses, not simply COVID-19.
“We have now a spicy cocktail for the following couple of weeks, if not the following couple of months. So it is time to return to our good habits of prudence and vigilance,” Boileau mentioned.
“Residing with the virus is now residing with the viruses — it isn’t simply the one,” he asserted.
Premier François Legault insisted on Tuesday that there was “no query” of reinstating a masks mandate for public areas. Boileau mentioned public well being did not advocate making the measure obligatory, as a result of the scenario didn’t necessitate it.
“It is one thing that must be thought of actually delicately, since you put stress on residents with [those kinds of] measures. We’re not at that time,” he mentioned.
Quebec lifted its masks mandate in indoor public areas final Could and in public transit final June.
Studying from the pandemic
Boileau is asking Quebecers to remember what they discovered through the COVID-19 pandemic when transferring by public areas.
“We all know what places us in danger. We all know after we’re in a crowd of individuals we do not know, or after we’re in line to get right into a retailer, or we go to the cinema … we must always put on the masks,” he mentioned.
“If I’ll the dépanneur and I am alone, it isn’t too unhealthy if I do not put on a masks there. If I am strolling exterior, it isn’t too unhealthy,” he added. “However after we’re in massive teams, it is extra warranted.”
Regardless of the extremely transmissible BQ1.1 variant circulating broadly within the province, Boileau mentioned the COVID-19 scenario is steadily enhancing in Quebec.
Dubé credited excessive vaccination charges and public co-operation with well being measures, like masking, for flattening the curve.
“We succeeded in controlling it — and I say that knocking on wooden,” Dubé mentioned, touching the desk in entrance of him.
Each Dubé and Boileau underlined the significance of Quebecers being updated with their COVID-19 vaccine doses, particularly going into the vacation season.
“Do you need to have a pleasant massive Christmas occasion? … Go immediately and get vaccinated, to have the total impact of your COVID-19 vaccine within the coming weeks,” Dubé mentioned.
Officers are additionally asking those that can to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine is simply free to these in at-risk teams, however should in any other case be paid for out of pocket.
When requested why this system wasn’t being expanded to be free for everybody, Boileau mentioned it wasn’t advisable by Quebec’s immunization committee, however mentioned that might change if the scenario warrants it.
Along with masking, officers are additionally asking Quebecers to scrub their arms often and isolate if they’ve signs of any virus.
Talking to Radio-Canada Thursday morning, Dubé mentioned there shall be a publicity marketing campaign to encourage Quebecers to don their masks once more.