"We're considering whether it would be appropriate to push back that date."
You may have been looking forward to packing away all your masks until the next pandemic, but they might be useful for a little longer. While officials had planned on ending the Quebec mask mandate for most public spaces in mid-April, it's looking like that deadline will be postponed.
"We're considering whether it would be appropriate to push back that date," interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau said on Radio-Canada on April 3. "It's certainly conceivable that recommendations will go in that direction."
He called the current wave of infections spurred by the BA.2 variant "serious." Quebec has seen an uptick in new cases and hospitalizations in recent days. The province recorded 3,182 new infections on March 31. But since officially registered PCR tests aren't available to the general public, that's not a complete picture.
Radio-Canada's Sébastien Bovet reports that the government is considering extending mask rules for two weeks, to the end of April.
On Thursday, Health Minister Christian Dubé said there were no plans to impose new restrictions or change the government's reopening plan in light of what the national public health institute is now calling the sixth wave.
The minister said BA.2 infections were concentrated in rural outlying regions like the Côte-Nord, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Gaspésie, which were spared the worst of the Omicron wave and therefore have less immunity among their populations.
"There is no reason at the moment [...] to change the strategy we have, because people have to learn to live with the virus, to continue to protect themselves," Dubé said.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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