The number of official, confirmed COVID-19 cases remain fewer among residents of the MRC d’Argenteuil and Laurentides region of Québec than in neighbouring Prescott and Russell counties in Ontario, and other regions of Québec. However, the case numbers have still increased during the past week.  

According to the Institut national de santé public du Québec (INSPQ), there were 5,672 active cases of COVID-19 across the Laurentides region as of Tuesday, January 11. Out of that amount, 362 cases were among residents of the MRC d’Argenteuil. On Tuesday, 219 people across the Laurentides region were in hospital due to COVID-19. 

The CISSS des Laurentides regional health authority reported on Monday, January 10 that there are COVID-19 outbreaks that the hospital in Lachute and at the CHSLD Argenteuil long-term care facility. INSPQ statistics indicate that as of January 4, there were 108,878 active cases of COVID-19 across Québec, which was an increase of 14,494 cases from January 3. Across Québec on January 4, there were 1,592 people in hospital as a result of COVID-19 and 185 of those patients were in intensive care. 

Meanwhile, Québec is now without a chief public health official to oversee the province’s course through the current omicron-based wave of COVID-19 cases. On January 10, Dr. Horacio Arruda resigned as Director of Public Health. Arruda’s response to the pandemic has become increasingly controversial in recent months. In his resignation letter to Premier François Legault, Arruda admitted there had been an erosion of public opinion in response to guidance of the pandemic response. 


Restrictions 

A series of significant COVID-19 related restrictions are currently in effect across Quebec as part of the response to the omicron variant. 

Curfew  

A curfew is in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. across Québec. 

It is prohibited for individuals to travel outside of their place of residence, except to receive health care, humanitarian reasons, or to perform work considered a priority. 

Penalties ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 6,000 will apply for offenders. 

Private gatherings  

Private gatherings in homes must be limited to occupants of the same residence. 

Exceptions may include a visitor to provide service or support, and a single person (with their children, if applicable) can join a family bubble. 

School 

The start of the school year in elementary, secondary, general adult education and vocational training has been postponed to January 17, 2022, in all regions of Québec. 

School daycare services remain open for parents who really need them, prioritizing essential workers. 

Places of worship 

Places of worship are closed, with an exception for funerals which must be limited to 25 people. 

Outdoor events 

Outdoor events are still authorized but with a maximum of 250 people. 

Restaurants 

Dining rooms are being closed. Delivery and take-out orders are still possible. 

Shops  

All stores will be closed on Sundays, except for certain businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations and pharmacies. 

Sports 

Indoor sports are suspended, unless they are practiced by a single person, by two people, or by the occupants of the same residence. 

The indoor facilities of downhill ski centres and snowmobile relays are open only to allow people to warm up and have access to the bathrooms. It is forbidden to consume food inside ski facility buildings. Food services may still offer take-out orders. 

Booster information 

Presently, all Québec residents aged 40 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination. Third booster doses are also available to all long-term care and retirement facility residents, and workers in certain trades and professions. Complete information is available at https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/progress-of-the-covid-19-vaccination/additional-dose-covid-19-vaccine. Age eligibility will be gradually lowered to all individuals aged 18 and older by January 21. To book a vaccination appointment in Québec, go to https://portal3.clicsante.ca/ or call 1-877-644-4545.