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COVID-19 live updates: Hospitalizations soar as Quebec reports 15,293 cases


The Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to help with Quebec’s vaccine campaign.

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Updated throughout the day on Monday, Jan. 3. Questions/comments: kthomas@postmedia.com .

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Top updates

  • Booster campaign moves to general population on Tuesday in Quebec
  • Quebec reports 165 more hospitalizations, 15 more deaths
  • Quebec updates curfew exemptions to include dog walking
  • Ontario follows Quebec’s lead, adds many restrictions as Omicron cases soar
  • Canadian Armed Forces help Quebec with vaccine rollout
  • Canada must help vaccinate world now: Liu
  • Weekend recap

1 p.m.

Quebec COVID-19 booster campaign moves to general population on Tuesday with help of Canadian Armed Forces

As announced last week , Quebecers outside of priority groups will become eligible for COVID-19 booster appointments between Tuesday and Jan. 21 depending on their age.

The Canadian Armed forces are being deployed to help with the rollout, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced on Twitter on Monday.

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In a statement, the Defence Department said up to 200 personnel are being deployed at vaccination centres in Montreal and Laval, as well as in the Beauce and Estrie regions.

Read our full story here , and view the booster schedule below.

  • Jan. 4: Ages 55-59
  • Jan. 6: Ages 50-54
  • Jan. 10: Ages 45-49
  • Jan. 12: Ages 40-44
  • Jan. 14: Ages 35-39
  • Jan. 17: Ages 30-34
  • Jan. 19: Ages 25-29
  • Jan. 21: Ages 18 and older

Quebec wants to vaccinate two to three million people per month, “which would bring us to March to have vaccinated the entire population,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said when he first announced the expansion of the booster campaign.


12 p.m.

Quebec reports 165 more hospitalizations, 15 more deaths

In a delayed update on Monday, Quebec reported another 15,293 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 651,328. Of them, 103,797 are active.

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The province also reported another 165 hospitalizations, bringing the total to 1,396. Of the people in hospital, 181 are in intensive care — an increase of 19 from Sunday’s total.

Quebec reported another 15 deaths had been attributed to the virus, bringing the province’s death toll to 11,760.

The province reported that it analyzed 47,387 COVID-19 samples.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 in Quebec currently stands at 30.2 per cent, and there are 1,504 active outbreaks across the province.

On Sunday, Quebec administered 16,134 vaccine doses.

Since the start of its vaccination campaign, the province has received 17,734,785 doses, of which it has administered 15,135,056.


11:45 a.m.

Following public outcry, Quebec updates curfew exemptions to include dog walking

Quebec has updated its list of exemptions to allow dog walking during the provincewide curfew, following public outcry over the weekend.

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Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Quebecers can take their dogs out within a radius of one kilometre of their home.

Read our full story here .


11:30 a.m.

Ontario implements new restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases

The province of Ontario is implementing new public health restrictions amid a surge in COVID-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant.

Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference on Monday that Ontario’s public health experts say the province could see hundreds of thousands of cases per day, which would result in too many hospitalizations for its health-care system to handle.

“We must do everything in our power to protect our hospitals,” he said.

The province has decided to postpone non-urgent surgeries, delay the return to school by two weeks, close indoor dining, gyms, theatres and other such venues, and limit private gatherings to five people indoors and 10 outdoors.

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“I know this isn’t the news anyone wanted to hear,” Ford said. “Let me be clear: these (restrictions) will be targeted and they will be time-limited.”

Read more here .


11 a.m.

COVID-19 disruptions cause over 4,000 flight cancellations to kick off 2022

More than 4,000 flights were cancelled globally on Sunday, adding to holiday week travel disruptions caused by bad weather and a surge in COVID-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant.

Much like the health network, the travel network has been impacted by a loss of staff, such as pilots and cabin crews, who must quarantine after coming into contact with or catching COVID-19.

Read our full story here .


10:45 a.m.

How to keep COVID from keeping you up at night this year

Life over the past two years has been marked by uncertainty, shifting health advice, stress and sleeplessness.

Here’s some advice for how to keep COVID-19 from keeping you awake in 2022.


10:30 a.m.

Canadian Armed Forces begin helping with Quebec’s vaccination campaign

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10:15 a.m.

Remote communities locking down, banning outsiders as COVID-19 spreads

Health-care resources in some remote communities in Canada are reaching a breaking point as COVID-19 cases spread rapidly.

Strain seen across southern Canada in recent days with many hospitals reporting higher absentee rates among workers have been exacerbated in remote communities, where care is already limited.

Read our full story here .


10 a.m.

The Year Ahead: Canada must help vaccinate the world now, Liu says

Dr. Joanne Liu, a leading voice on medical humanitarian crises, said the formula for ending the pandemic is simple.

“It all depends on how much we want to protect the rest of the world to avoid the emergence of new variants. It’s as simple as that,” said Liu.

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She and other experts believe Canada should share extra vaccine doses with lower-income countries and support lifting patents on vaccines so they can produce their own.

Read our full story by Michelle Lalonde .


9:45 a.m.

COVID-19 news over the weekend

If you decided to celebrate the beginning of the new year by doing something other than doom-scrolling, here’s a roundup of COVID-19 news from the weekend:


9:30 a.m.

Since our last blog: COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations surge over the holidays

The pandemic situation in Quebec escalated quickly since our last live blog, when the province had reported just under 9,400 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.

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In the time since, Quebec set a new record of more than 17,000 cases in a single day and hospitalizations have more than doubled.

The province introduced a string of new restrictions on Thursday aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, particularly to reduce pressure on an increasingly fragile health network.

You can read about Quebec’s latest announcement here and here.


9:15 a.m.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec

Local health authorities have set up vaccination sites across Montreal.

You can book appointments via  the Clic Santé website  or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

Quebecers can also visit  walk-in AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccine clinics  .

Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated  , by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

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9:15 a.m.

Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec

We are regularly updating our guide to what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec.

You can read it here.


9:15 a.m.

Here’s where Montrealers can get tested today

Montrealers can be screened at  test centres  across the island.

For other parts of Quebec,  check out this page on the Quebec government’s site  .


8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can  sign up here  .


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