Quebec Is Going To Ask You To Self-Report COVID-19 Test Results

Since not everyone can get a PCR test anymore.

Senior Editor
Quebec Is Going To Ask You To Self-Report COVID-19 Test Results

As the fifth COVID-19 wave pummels Quebec, the province has decided to limit PCR tests to just a few priority groups. High demand for tests amid skyrocketing numbers of infections, officials said, was overwhelming testing sites. As a result, the general population has to rely on those rapid at-home tests available at pharmacies.

Now, the province is building a platform for Quebecers to self-report their results.

The Ministry of Health made the announcement Thursday, January 6, but didn't say when the platform will be up and running on Quebec.ca. In a press release, the ministry said it hopes the new tool will better enable officials to assess the province's positivity rate.

Public health and government officials have repeatedly warned that official daily reports have undercounted new COVID-19 cases since the advent of rapid at-home testing in Quebec.

"We have a worse visibility on the epidemiological situation," Health Minister Christian Dubé said on January 6. "But that's not to say we're blind."

The focus now is on the positivity rate, which Dubé implied has become a better indicator. Quebec reported a 31.2% positivity rate as of January 5, a level the minister said "had never been seen" in the province.

Quebec is also contending with an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Wednesday, there were more new hospitalizations than ever before during the pandemic.

The latest projections from the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) show that COVID-19 patients could occupy more than 3,000 hospital beds within the next two weeks, "well above [...] the thresholds observed during previous waves."

Dubé cautioned, however, that that forecast don't yet take into account the effects of the province's latest wave of health measures, including the nightly curfew.

Legault Won't Lift Other Quebec COVID-19 Restrictions For Now

"For the moment we are at the worst of the pandemic."

Health measures in Quebec will not be changing in the immediate future, according to Premier François Legault. Despite a slowdown and, most recently, a slight decrease in hospitalizations, the situation is still too fragile to justify relaxing Quebec COVID-19 rules, he said.

"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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Quebec COVID-19 Hospitalizations Have Finally Gone Down After Climbing For Weeks

Legault is holding a press conference Thursday afternoon.

In its January 20 report, Quebec reported a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time in weeks. There were a total of 3,411 COVID-19 hospital patients, 14 fewer than the day before. 285 people were in intensive care — that number remained unchanged.

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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1 In 4 Quebecers Are Okay With Throwing The Unvaccinated In Jail, A New Survey Suggests

More than half of Canadians wouldn't even care if they DIED because of COVID-19, the Maru Group survey found.

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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Dubé Questioned The Conscience Of Montreal Restaurant Owners Opening Against The Rules

The health minister invoked Quebec's overburdened hospitals and the ongoing efforts of healthcare workers.

Christian Dubé | Facebook

At a press conference on Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé offered his thoughts on a growing movement of Montreal restaurant owners who say they will reopen on January 30 no matter what the health regulations are. The health minister said he sympathizes with their frustrations, but said they might "lack conscience."

"We need to be careful to not give more reasons to encourage these individuals to not respect the rules," said Dubé.

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