Dubé said that the key to fighting the third wave is to "control it" as much as possible.
The health minister suggested that the third wave is being spurred on by the COVID-19 virus variants that are spreading throughout the province.
Mayor Valérie Plante echoed his declaration on Twitter and saluted the efforts of the health authorities, saying that "the situation remains in control for the moment, despite the spread of the variant."
COVID variants are spreading in the province.
The health minister was accompanied by Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal’s public health director.
"Evidently, we’re seeing that the situation across Quebec is being aggravated [...] by the spread of variants," she explained.
On March 26, an INSPQ report estimated that these virus variants will become the most prevalent stains over the next month in Quebec and "will soon represent more than 50% of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec."
According to the report, these variant strains are 40% more transmissible than other variants.
Variants are being concentrated in "Cote-Saint-Luc, Plamondon, Outremont and are migrating towards Ville Saint-Laurent," said Dr. Drouin.
"People need to continue to get tested and to be as collaborative as possible with contact tracing so we can have as many vaccinations as possible," concluded Dubé.
Vaccination efforts, meanwhile, will continue.
As of March 22, a number of pharmacies in Montreal began to take vaccination appointments for people over the age of 60.
Along with the many vaccination sites on the island, the past month has seen an intensification of the number of vaccine doses being administered.
Dr. Drouin said that in Montreal, "around 19% of the population, [...] almost 1 in 5 people, have received their first dose
Does this mean things are closing in Quebec?
The government has not announced any further closures or measures during this third wave, yet.
"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.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak this fall, rather than closing some non-essential services altogether, Dubé said access to high-risk activities like bars, gyms and contact sports would only be permitted for Quebecers who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The health minister also said that in the event of a future outbreak, Quebecers who have received two doses will be able to continue living their lives "normally."
"Those who refuse to get vaccinated, I have often told them it's their right," Dubé said.
"But they need to know, in the case of an outbreak or transmission in their area, they risk having to [self] isolate, having to get tested, or not having access to certain activities."