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Quebec's Public Health Boss Might Announce A COVID-19 Mask Rule Update Today

Mandatory masks could be lifted at the end of the month.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​People walk by vendors in Jean-Talon market wearing face coverings.

People walk by vendors in Jean-Talon market wearing face coverings.

Quebec Interim Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau will give a COVID-19 update on Thursday afternoon, following a spike in hospitalizations this week. He will be joined at 1 p.m. by the province's Associate Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lucie Opatrny.

Just over one hundred people were admitted to the ICU on Wednesday and 2,381 to the hospital, up 100 from the day before. The most recent COVID-19 numbers show the province has 2,330 new cases and 26 deaths.

The last time that Dr. Boileau addressed Quebec's pandemic situation was just before the Easter long weekend, when he advised residents to make their own choices to protect themselves from the virus, but didn't make any new public health recommendations.

Right now, the province is expected to lift its mask mandate at the end of the month. Public Health extended the rule through April 30 on Tuesday.

The move would come as flu season picks up in Quebec. Health experts are advising extra care given the health network is being overwhelmed by the recent influx of COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, a recent Angus Reid poll shows a strong majority of Quebecers (72%) plan to keep wearing a mask in indoor public places even if it's not required. Around 38% reported said they plan to wear a mask indoors around strangers.

Women over the age of 55 were the most likely to support masking.

Just over half of Quebec respondents (62%) said they also intend to keep sanitizing their hands, while 57% reported planning to maintain social distancing.

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