On Tuesday, Premier Legault clarified that residents of Quebec's red and orange zones must wear masks for outdoor activities if they're joined by even one person who does not live at the same address — and that includes members of a couple.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Health and Social Services stated that while "this may seem contradictory for people in couples who do not live together [...] a police officer cannot know who is in a bubble with whom if the residence addresses are not the same."
The ministry called it a matter of "consistency and uniformity" in the enforcement of health measures.
Asked about outdoor mask-wearing for couples on Tuesday, National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda explained that "because of the variant [...] the risk is significant" when household bubbles come in contact with each other.
"Our main objective is not to frustrate people, but to protect them," he said.
The only exceptions to outdoor mask-wearing for adults who do not live at the same address are for activities in which they are seated at least two metres apart (like a picnic) and for swimming or water sports.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.
"Today, it is important to recognize the systemic racism against First Nations and Inuit within the health and social services network in order to put in place structuring actions to promote a more egalitarian and fairer relationship between these communities and nurses," said a statement by Luc Mathieu, president of the OIIQ.
The organization said that, after Echaquan's death, it made a "firm commitment" to prevent similar acts of racism by health care providers, as well as to rebuild trust with Indigenous communities to ensure they get the safe medical care they are entitled to.
In order to strengthen nurses' knowledge on Indigenous relations in health care, the OIIQ said it tasked its education committee with evaluating nurses' initial training in intercultural relations and cultural safety for First Nations and Inuit patients.
The organization also said it is taking necessary steps to implement continuing education activities for nurses on the same topics.
In what could possibly be the most fun experience you'll ever have getting a vaccine, Piknic Électronik is partnering with the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal to host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Sunday, July 11.
The clinic is open to festival-goers as well as anyone visiting Parc Jean-Drapeau. Since it's no secret that drugs and alcohol go hand-in-hand with music festivals, we asked what you should you know if you're planning on getting a vaccine dose and also planning on being inebriated.
A Piknic Électronik spokesperson told MTL Blog that "there are no known interactions between vaccines and substance use (drugs and alcohol)."
Still, public health told us it does not recommend attending your vaccination appointment under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Annie Dufour, media relations advisor for the CIUSSS, gave us a few reasons why that is.
Firstly, she said the health care provider giving the vaccine needs informed consent from the person receiving it before administering the dose.
"Alcohol and drugs can impair the ability to fully understand the information given," she said.
Secondly, the side effects of excessive substance use and the side effects of drugs and alcohol may be the same, making it difficult to interpret "clinical manifestations" after vaccination.
In other words, how can you tell if you're feeling faint due to a reaction to the vaccine or due to too much booze?
She said health care professionals on-site will be able to assess whether a person can receive the vaccine.
According to Piknic, the location and time — from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the entrance to the site — were chosen strategically in order to ensure people can give their clear consent if they want to get vaccinated.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
The government plans to deploy a vaccine passport system only "once the possibility of having access to two doses of a vaccine has been offered to the entire Quebec population aged 12 and over," according to a Thursday press release.
The target date for that benchmark is September 1.
Moreover, it would only be used if there's a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the province — or, as the Ministry of Health puts it, "only if there is a deterioration or change in the epidemiological situation in a given territory that would justify its use."
The idea is that the vaccine passport would give Quebec an option other than simply locking down non-essential sectors again.
What activities could require a vaccine passport in Quebec?
In its press release, the Ministry of Health listed a number of non-essential services for which a vaccine passport could be required.
These include activities it identified as "high risk" ("gyms, team sports, bars, restaurants, etc."), as well as "moderate or low-risk activities involving a larger number of people," like festivals and sports games.
The vaccine passport would not be required for essential services.
In a statement, Dubé called the current state of infections in the province "encouraging," but said officials are "closely monitoring the emergence and spread of variants."
The passport, he added, would enable fully vaccinated Quebecers to maintain some level of normalcy.
"In the event of a further increase in cases, with the deployment of a vaccine passport, adequately protected individuals will be able to continue with their daily activities, and the economy and public sectors will be able to remain open," Dubé said.
The ministry encouraged Quebecers aged 12 and over to get their second vaccine doses this summer.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
The bill was first tabled by Quebec's Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, in December 2020, and it was passed following consultations between the government and Indigenous families in Quebec.
The goal was to meet the needs of Indigenous families while respecting their "culture and language, and also their suffering," according to the ministry.
The ministry also said it hopes "to support families in their quest for truth and also in the healing process."
In 2019, a report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called on the Quebec government to provide Indigenous families with information on children who had been apprehended following admission to a hospital or health centre in Quebec.
How does the new law work?
Once it's implemented on September 21, Bill 79 will give Indigenous families access to personal information from "a health and social services institution, an organization or a religious congregation" about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance or death of children admitted to a health and social services institution in Quebec before December 31, 1992.
The government will provide the information through exemptions to Quebec's current laws that prevent disclosing personal information.
Under the new law, Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous affairs will also have the power to launch an investigation if government information could help Indigenous families, but can't be disclosed because of the province's existing rules on disclosing personal information.
How have Indigenous leaders reacted to the new law?
On June 14, leaders from the Cree Nation said that while the law is an important step to "apologize or begin to compensate for the harm suffered by Indian Residential School survivors," the scope of the law needs to be revised since Indigenous children "were taken and never returned" for reasons beyond medical care in Quebec.
The Cree Nation specified that Quebec's education system was the largest "pretext for the institutionalized abduction of children," and that the school system's absence from Bill 79 means more action is needed.
The Grand Council of the Crees stated that not all Indigenous youth or community members will feel comfortable contacting the Quebec government for help with traumatic events that were associated with "governments they do not feel are their own."
The Council recommended that Quebec put mechanisms in place so Indigenous governments can represent and serve the needs of their own people.