Quebec Is Recommending That Employers Hold Off On Bringing Workers Back To The Office

It's WFH for a little while longer, folks.

Staff Writer
Quebec Work From Home Should Continue: Health Ministry

It seems like office workers will need to work from home for a little while longer.

Public health officials have advised that "employers postpone the implementation of their plan for their employees to return to work in person until the epidemiological situation is more favourable," according to a Wednesday release from the Ministry of Health.

Officials made this recommendation in the wake of another uptick in COVID-19 cases in the province.

"We can clearly see the effect of the increase in cases in recent weeks on our hospitals," Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a Twitter post.

"Yesterday, 19 new people were admitted to the hospital, of these 19 people, 17 were not adequately vaccinated."

On Wednesday, August 25, Quebec recorded over 500 new cases.

Public health officials have observed that "many of the outbreaks observed in previous waves of cases have occurred in the workplace," the release states.

This advisory will be reevaluated in October.

Quebec COVID-19 Rules Could Gradually Start Being Lifted Before Mid-February

That's public health director Dr. Boileau's prediction, at least.

Is Quebec on track for a Valentine's Day gift? Though Premier François Legault said Thursday that the province isn't yet in a place that would allow the government to lift more Quebec COVID-19 rules, interim public health director Dr. Luc Boileau suggested that could change by mid-February.

In an interview on Radio-Canada program Tout un matin Friday morning, the director told host Patrick Masbourian that public health experts are currently "working extremely hard to try to weigh" the risks associated with higher numbers of infections and hospitalizations "to make them compatible with a loosening of restrictions."

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"We seem to have reached the peak of hospitalizations today at last," he began in a press conference Thursday afternoon. "Yes, we can predict a decrease in hospitalizations soon, but for the moment we are at the worst of the pandemic with 3,400 hospitalizations."

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Legault is holding a press conference Thursday afternoon.

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The January 20 daily report comes as the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) releases its latest hospital occupancy projections. The institute noted that though hospitalizations are still high, they seem to have plateaued between January 8 and 14.

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According to a new study conducted by Maru Public Opinion, 27% of Quebecers would approve of forcing the unvaccinated to "serve up to five days as part of a jail sentence for endangering others/overwhelming health care system," which is in line with the national average.

More than half of Quebecers (55%) surveyed wouldn't even feel bad for unvaccinated people who end up really sick — or dying — from COVID-19, also in line with the Canadian average. Currently, 12% of Quebecers surveyed admit to refusing the vaccine.

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