After trending downward in recent days, active COVID-19 cases among residents of the MRC d’Argenteuil had increased as of Friday, February 5.

According to the CISSS des Laurentides regional health authority, as of Friday, there were 40 active cases of COVID-19 among residents of Argenteuil.  There had been 33 active cases of COVID-19 among Argenteuil residents on Thursday.

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 across Argenteuil remained at 18 on February 5.

The Québec government reported active cases of COVID-19 at the following schools across the MRC d’Argenteuil as of February 4:

École Dansereau-St-Martin in Grenville

Séminaire du Sacré-Coeur in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge

École St-Philippe in Brownsburg-Chatham

Laurentian Regional High School in Lachute

Polyvalente Lavigne in Lachute

As of February 4, eight cases of COVID-19 were active at the Résidence de Lachute, and two cases of COVID-19 were active at the CHSLD Argenteuil long-term care facility in Lachute.

Across the Laurentides region of Québec, 12,549 people had been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of February 5.

Québec statistics

According to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), there were 12,962 active cases of COVID-19 across Québec as of Friday, February 5.  The number of active cases had increased by 1,101 from February 4 to February 5.

There were 1,040 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Québec as of February 5, and 168 of those patients were in intensive care.

There had been 9,973 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 across Québec as of February 5, which was an increase of 32 deaths from February 4.

Changes to restrictions

The return to the colour-based red-orange-yellow-green COVID-19 warning system was announced on February 2.  However, the present measures remain in effect until February 8.

The CISSS des Laurentides, which includes the MRC d’Argenteuil, is designated as a red zone.  Some of the changes that will take effect on February 8 include:

  • reopening of non-priority businesses, including personal and beauty care
  • reopening of museums and libraries
  • the resumption of outdoor activities with a maximum of four people

The curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., the ban on gatherings in private homes and on private land, and compulsory working from home will remain in effect. Compliance with health measures remains essential.

Variant present in Québec

During a press briefing held Friday, Québec Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced that eight cases of the British variant have been found declared in Québec.

The cases are considered to be contained for the moment and are being closely monitored by public health.   The laboratory is sequencing several samples for investigation. No case of the South African or Brazilian variants has been found in Québec so far.

Public Health provides intensive tracing and close quarantine monitoring of the people concerned (cases and contacts). Monitoring by sequencing allows detection of the emergence of variants of concern as well as new variants of the virus.

Monitoring for variants in Québec began in April 2020. The laboratory sequencing capacity has increased from three per cent in the fall of 2020 to 8.5 per cent currently. Sequence analysis results take 7-10 days to become available. The Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec (LSPQ) has developed a PCR test to rapidly screen for the presence of the United Kingdom variant. It is used to screen samples received at the LSPQ for variant testing for a faster response, but samples must still be sequenced to confirm the variant. The UK variant PCR test will also be relocated to clinical laboratories that have the capacity to do this kind of testing to improve screening coverage. Like the surveillance put in place in Great Britain, this type of confirmatory testing will reduce the time to identify the presence of the British variant of the virus and faster follow-up of the tracing carried out by Public Health.