According to new projections from the province’s public health research institute, Quebec’s gradual reopening plan should not result in a significant increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations or new infections in the greater Montreal area.
According to modeling released Wednesday by the Institut national de santé Publique du Québec and Université Laval, vaccination coverage, combined with the fact that many people were infected with the Omicron variant, should keep new cases and hospitalizations relatively low until at least May. According to the institute, approximately one-third of residents in the greater Montreal area have been infected with the virus since December
According to Marc Brisson, the head of a mathematical modeling research group at Université Laval, Quebec still needs to be cautious and monitor new variants as well as vaccine efficacy.
He predicted that if the Omicron subvariant BA.2 is 1.4 times more contagious than the original Omicron mutation, Quebec could see an increase in new hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths in March.”However, even in the most pessimistic scenario, (the rise) would not reach the peaks seen in January 2022,” Brisson said in a news release on Wednesday.”If the number of cases in the fifth wave is as high as our modeling suggests, the epidemic potential of Omicron may be limited, even in the context of a gradual relaxation of sanitary measures.”Quebec intends to lift almost all COVID-19 restrictions across the province by March 14, when the vaccine passport system is set to be phased out.
Meanwhile, another major health-care research institute reported Wednesday that hospitalizations fell by 25% in the week ending Feb. 25 compared to the previous week. For the last six weeks, hospitalizations have decreased by 25% each week.
According to the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux, hospitalizations have decreased across all age groups in the province, and the number of COVID-19 patients should continue to decline over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Quebec reported 20 more deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 14,016 since its inception. COVID-19 hospitalizations fell by 58, to 1,381, after 88 patients were admitted in the previous 24 hours and 146 were discharged, according to the Health Department. The number of people in intensive care decreased by eight people to 82.