& Francois Carrier
QUÉBEC – The Pontiac recently experienced an increase in active Covid cases, partly due to a small outbreak at the Pontiac Reception Center (CAP) in Shawville where less than five cases were confirmed. According to the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), CAP is screening employees and residents, with infection prevention and control teams on-site to ensure measures are properly implemented to prevent further infection.
The government an-nounced a number of loosened restrictions in recent weeks.
In red zones, all indoor fitness facilities can reopen March 26, but a registry
is mandatory and people can only train alone, with one other person or with their family “bubble.” Performance halls will reopen the same day. The nightly curfew was pushed to 9:30 to 5 am in red zones starting March 17.
In orange zones, indoor activities are limited to up to eight people with physical distancing rules in effect.
Outdoor sports and recreational activities will remain open for up to eight people in red zones, but increased to 12 people in orange zones.
Starting March 22 in orange zones, students in Secondary 3, 4 and 5 returned to in-person classes full-time. Restrictions for extracurricular school activities will be further loosened for orange zones on March 26, with students from different class groups allowed to enjoy activities together provided that the activities are limited to a maximum of 12 people outdoors and 8 indoors. Intra-school, non-contact activities will also be allowed as of March 26 providing guidelines are followed.
Three regions will move to a yellow zone as of March 26 – Gaspésie, Cote-Nord, and Nord du Quebec. In yellow zones, the curfew no longer exists, 250 people are permitted in places of worship, bars and breweries can reopen with strict measures in place, and private gatherings are permitted between two households.
Mass vaccination continues
Starting March 9, those 75 and older were able to make appointments for COVID vaccination in the Outaouais. Appointment booking for those 70 and older began the next day and those 65 and older on March 19.
Appointments can be booked by visiting Québec.ca/vaccinCOVID. For those who don’t have access to the internet or have difficulty using it, they can call 1-877-
A caregiver can also be vaccinated on the same day as the person in the priority group if they are 65 or older and are present three days a week or more to support their loved one; spouses also qualify.
“Only one caregiver can be vaccinated per person. Don’t forget to register
your caregiver after your appointment is made. Regardless of the time selected for your caregiver’s appointment, he or she will be able to be vaccinated
at the same time as you,” said CISSSO in a public notice.Four stations are set up at the Pontiac’s vaccination site at the Campbell’s Bay RA Hall. The site
operates five days a week, seven hours per day and each vaccinator can administer 7 vaccines per hour.
Upon arriving at the site, people must disinfect their hands and change their mask with one provided. Once inside, they will go to the reception desk to confirm their appointment and can make an appointment to get the second dose; on March 11, second doses were booked for July 2. People then go to the vaccination station and must wait 15 minutes in the waiting room to monitor for reactions.
On March 16, Québec Premier Francois Legault said first dose vaccination of those 65 and older will be complete by mid-April and all Québec residents who want to be vaccinated will be able to receive their first dose before June 24.
Remembering the victims
On March 11 at 1 pm, all Quebecers were invited to participate in a moment of silence for national day of remembrance for victims of COVID-19 as well as their families and loved ones; a ceremony also took place on the grounds of the National Assembly. The day was also an opportunity to recognize those on the front lines of the fight against the virus. March 11 marks the one year anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the pandemic.