Some Quebec Pharmacy Websites Have Crashed As Free Rapid COVID-19 Tests Become Available

Meanwhile, new health rules are taking effect.

Senior Editor
Some Quebec Pharmacy Websites Have Crashed As Free Rapid COVID-19 Tests Become Available

On the day that rapid COVID-19 tests are supposed to become available at Quebec pharmacies, several of their websites have crashed.

At 8:00 a.m., the websites of Jean Coutu, Familiprix and Brunet were not functioning, each displaying an internal server error. As of 8:30 a.m., the Familiprix site appeared to be up again.

Free rapid COVID-19 tests are supposed to gradually become available at over 1,900 pharmacies across the province beginning December 20.

In a December 19 statement, the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) said that as many as 200,000 test kits would be available at participating pharmacies as of that date.

The AQPP previously advised checking pharmacy social media pages, websites or voice messages for updates about test availability.

The government has said that each resident will be entitled to five free tests in a 30-day period.

The rapid test rollout comes as new COVID-19 infections have skyrocketed in Quebec and the province imposes new health rules aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron variant, which Health Minister Christian Dubé has said is more infectious than other COVID-19 virus variants.

Quebec broke its record for the most new cases reported in a single day on December 17 with 3,768 and then again on December 19 with 3,846.

Among the new restrictions taking effect Monday are 50% capacity limits at restaurants, stores and venues and a ban on karaoke and dancing.

The province also reversed an earlier decision to expand the private gathering capacity for the holidays. Instead, the 10-person limit for indoor private gatherings is staying in place.

Legault Elaborated On The Quebec Tax For The Unvaccinated

The 600,000 unvaccinated people will receive a call from the government.

Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.

On Sunday, January 16, Legault appeared on the Quebec TV show on Tout le monde en parle to discuss the new "health contribution" that non-vaccinated adults will be required to pay.

Keep Reading Show less

The Latest Quebec Curfew Is Officially Over

But there's too much snow to go anywhere...

Rejoice! We can officially go on nightly walks again (if you can handle the cold) because Quebec's curfew was lifted as of Monday, January 17. That means no rushing to get home on time while risking fines.

During a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault said, "The reason we did this was to stop the exponential growth of the number of infections and then the number of hospitalizations. So given that we seem to have reached a peak, that permits us to remove the curfew."

Keep Reading Show less

Quebec Bill 21 Won't Apply To Parents Who Volunteer In Schools & Wear Religious Symbols

Parents who supervise classes due to COVID-related staff shortages can wear hijabs, kippahs, crosses and turbans.

As a contingency plan to deal with a high number of staff shortages expected at schools in the coming weeks, Quebec's Ministry of Education has said parent volunteers might be asked to supervise classes if too many teachers get sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate. But, unlike teachers who are subject to Bill 21, volunteer parents can wear religious symbols in the classroom.

Quebec's controversial Bill 21, also known as Quebec's secularism law, prohibits public service workers — from police officers to teachers — from wearing hijabs, kippahs, crosses, turbans and other forms of religious symbols while at work. In fact, an elementary school teacher in Chelsea was removed from her position last month for wearing a hijab.

Keep Reading Show less

On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?

Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.

Keep Reading Show less