How is the COVID-19 situation in Quebec different from last year?

On Wednesday, I crossed Quebec A milestone is 2,300 daily injuries. A year ago, on the same date, the county recorded 1,797 cases, or 589 fewer. How is the health situation in Quebec different from last year?

Although the latest daily COVID-19 reports are similar to those seen at the beginning of December last year in terms of cases, deaths and hospitalizations attributed to the virus are still much lower, thanks in part to vaccination.

“The vaccine protects us very well from hospitalization due to the delta variant, so despite the fact that we have a lot of cases, we have much fewer hospitalizations. This is a big difference between the current situation and the situation last year,” sums up Gaston de Serres, medical advisor at the National Institute Public Health Quebec (INSPQ).

From December 7 to 13, 2020, authorities reported an average of 1,788 daily new cases, 61 below the average on the same dates this year (1,849), according to INSPQ data. Despite this current high rate, there are ten times fewer deaths than last year. During the same week, there were an average of 38 deaths in 2020, compared to three this year.

Quebec announced 4 additional deaths on its balance sheet on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. A year ago to this day, we’d rather be announcing 41 new deaths.

Permit for gatherings of 20 vaccinated people to be maintained at Christmas It will depend on the number of hospitalized cases as the holiday season approaches, He said Francois Legault earlier this week.

Much less than hospitalization

Hospitalization is also much less frequent than it was on the eve of last year’s vacation. Also from December 7 to 13, the number of intensive care patients was almost double this year, and even almost four times less for stays outside of intensive care.

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How do we explain the difference between the number of infections higher than last year and the number of hospitalizations and deaths that have decreased since then?

“For the delta variable, we see the efficiency [du vaccin] To protect against almost unchanged hospitalization [à travers le temps] : Increased from 97% two weeks after the second dose to 95% between two weeks and more thereafter [la deuxième injection] Dr. de Serres explains.

However, the vaccine’s protection against infection is not the same: the efficacy between the time of injection with the second dose and that observed after 32 weeks ranges from about 92% to 75%. “What that tells us is that among the vaccinated people, we have a certain susceptibility to infection, but not to severe disease,” summarizes the medical advisor.

Despite these seemingly positive data compared to last year, the continued rise in cases will have inevitable repercussions for hospitalization, notes Dr. de Serres. The arrival of the Omicron variant is perhaps the biggest “disruptor” as the holiday season approaches.

La Minis Omicron

With a report of 95 confirmed cases in Montreal as of Wednesday, the true presence of the Omicron variant in Quebec remains a mystery. At the time of writing, the Quebec government has not updated the data at the provincial level.

It is clear that Omicron will change the picture in the short term. Is it in two weeks, a month? We don’t know, but Quebec certainly won’t get away with it,” according to Dr. de Serres.

It has already started in the county in recent weeks, and the increase in infections is sure to increase as the new infectious type spreads. The number of new cases is increasing sharply (29%) compared to the previous week (8220 vs. 6,348). This increase is noticeable in all age groups and in most regions.

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A percentage of these cases will necessarily require hospitalization, including many unvaccinated individuals, explains the doctor, who remembers that an unvaccinated person is 20 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than an adequately vaccinated person.

“Of course, with the delta variant, we weren’t too worried about hospitalization, because with 95% protection, it’s still huge. But if it goes down too much with the Omicron variant, it could be very difficult to prevent the flow of cases into hospitals,” the medical official believes.

However, many questions remain unanswered regarding the severity of the variant and its impact on hospital treatment. “While we were just beginning to tame the delta variant, the Omicron variant, by its very nature highly contagious, is asking us to question our decisions regarding health measures,” the Department of Health and Social Services said by email. a task.

The Federal Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced Wednesday that the development of the Omicron variant internationally “makes him fear the worst. Canadians must now pConsider any non-essential out-of-state travel plan during holidaysAccording to Ottawa.

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