Quebec will require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated, masks will be mandatory in post-secondary institutions – .

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Quebec will require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated, masks will be mandatory in post-secondary institutions – .


MONTREAL – Quebec Premier François Legault announced on Tuesday that the government will require healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated, but educators are exempt from the new health measure for now.

At a press conference, the premier said all public and private sector workers in the health system who deal with the public for 15 minutes or more daily will have to have received two doses of the vaccine by the 1st. October. 90 percent of healthcare workers are already vaccinated, according to Legault.

Legault also announced that CEGEP and university students will have to wear masks when they are seated in class, and not just in common areas.

The government is urging people to get their first and second doses in an August “blitz” to prepare for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases as back to school approaches. Public health predicts an increase in cases with more social contact once the children return to class.

“The fourth wave is here, it’s strong, the Delta variant is very contagious and there is a real risk of hospitalizations and death,” said Legault.

Starting next week, there will also be a parliamentary committee in the National Assembly with opposition parties to debate mandatory vaccinations for other types of public workers, including teachers. When asked what consequences employees could suffer if they refuse a mandatory vaccination, Legault said it will be discussed in the debate.

As of Tuesday, 74 percent of Quebec’s eligible population (12 years and older) are fully immunized, but the government has said it believes a goal of 90 or 95 percent is achievable.

“I would have liked that this fall we did not have to do these press conferences, but the Delta variant has changed things around the world,” said Quebec director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda.

“The more vaccinated we are, maybe people will get COVID but they won’t overwhelm our hospital system and they won’t die from COVID. “

VACCINE PASSPORTS FOR TOURISTS?

There has been no announcement on vaccine passports, which are still being tested in Quebec in a series of pilot projects. Passports will be required to access non-essential services in Quebec, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, as of September 1.

Dube was asked how tourists will be able to access these services since they will not have a QR code issued by Quebec. The health minister said he was exploring alternatives for tourists, including using the federal government’s ArriveCAN smartphone app to include proof of vaccination. Dube didn’t give any specifics on how this would work.

Another option proposed by Dube was to ask non-Quebecers to go to a vaccination clinic to request a QR code that will be readable by the new application that Quebec will launch next month.

He also said the Health Department is working on a “handy” paper version of the QR code that residents can keep in their wallets if they don’t want to use the smartphone app.

Dube said last week that press briefings on the COVID-19 update would occur again every week. As of Tuesday, daily COVID-19 updates began to include the vaccine status of new positive cases and new hospitalizations, with those numbers going back to four weeks.

Quebec reported Tuesday that an additional 323 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and of these, 216 (67%) have not been vaccinated.

“Only 112,000 appointments are booked for the next seven days,” Dube wrote. “We have the capacity in terms of vaccines and availability (with or without an appointment). If we are to exceed our goals, we have to go get our second dose. “

Although new cases in Quebec are on the rise, hospitalizations, intensive care cases and deaths from COVID-19 have remained stable.

The Institut de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) has reported two deaths since July 23, and these two people were between 30 and 39 years old.

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