Coronavirus Canada Update: Quebec extends lockdown orders, hits 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports nine new COVID-19 cases Wednesday
Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports nine new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

The COVID-19 lockdown order across three Quebec regions will be extended for an additional week, Premier François Legault said Tuesday, adding that Quebecers shouldn’t expect a return to normal before the end of June.

Schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed and the nighttime curfew will be at 8 p.m. until at least April 25 in Quebec City; the Chaudiere-Appalaches region, south of the provincial capital; and in Outaouais, in western Quebec.

The restrictions, which had previously applied only in parts of Chaudiere-Appalaches and Outaouais, will be expanded to cover the entirety of those two regions starting Wednesday, the premier added.

“The situation is serious and could continue to worsen,” Legault told reporters in Quebec City. “The situation is fragile everywhere in Quebec. With the variant, no region is immune.”

An 8 p.m. curfew will also remain in effect in Montreal and its northern suburb of Laval, Legault said, adding that for the moment, schools and non-essential businesses in those two cities will remain open.

Health Minister Christian Dube confirmed Tuesday that a woman in Quebec has experienced blood clots associated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, adding that she is now doing well. It’s the first case of blood clots associated with that vaccine reported in Quebec.

In late March, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine not be given to people under 55 because of concerns about reports of rare occurrences of blood clots in Europe.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director, told reporters Tuesday that while there is a risk of blood clots associated with every one in 100,000 doses administered, the vaccine is safe and the risk of similar conditions caused COVID-19 is significantly higher.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dube announced that more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province. He said 25 per cent of Quebecers have received at least one dose.

Public health authorities said 56,620 doses of vaccine were administered Monday, for a total of 2,005,106.

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