COVID live updates: Quebec reports 26 deaths as hospitalizations hit record 2,554

Quebecers 40 and older can now book booster shots. By next week, all adults will be eligible.

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Updated throughout the day on Monday, Jan. 10. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

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Top updates

  • Quebec reports 26 deaths as hospitalizations hit record 2,554
  • Legault afraid to be held accountable or thinks he’s above listening to opposition: Nadeau-Dubois
  • Djokovic back in practice after winning appeal to stay in Australia
  • Alberta student, parents say they feel abandoned as K-12 kids return to school
  • Booster shots now available for Quebecers 40 and older
  • Stronger action, more vaccinations urged as Quebec hospitalizations surge
  • Quebec College of Physicians criticizes CAQ government, calls for stricter measures for the unvaccinated
  • Opinion: François Legault’s ‘common sense’ curfew makes zero sense
  • Opinion: Tennis star Novak Djokovic is behaving like a spoiled brat
  • Tax break for working from home extended, deduction increased
  • A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec
  • Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

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11:45 a.m.

Charts: Montreal, Quebec regions


11:20 a.m.

Chart: Current situation vs. one year ago


11:20 a.m.

Chart: Quebec’s vaccination campaign


11:15 a.m.

Chart: Hospitalizations – vaccinated vs. unvaccinated


11:15 a.m.

Updated charts: Quebec cases, deaths


11:10 a.m.

Quebec seniors minister to testify Friday at inquest into CHSLD deaths

The much-anticipated testimony of Quebec Seniors Minister Marguerite Blais before an inquest into the deaths in Quebec’s long-term care centres during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will begin Friday, coroner Géhane Kamel announced on Monday.

Read our full story.


11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 26 deaths as hospitalizations hit record 2,554

Quebec has recorded 10,573 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

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Note that the tally only includes people who received PCR tests at government vaccine clinics, where access is now strictly limited.

Quebec says the total no longer accurately reflects the number of cases in the province since it does not include results of home rapid tests.

In addition, 26 new deaths were reported.

Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update:

  • Net increase in hospitalizations: 118, for total of 2,554 (351 entered hospital, 233 discharged).
  • Net decrease in intensive care patients: 9, for total of 248 (24 entered ICUs, 33 discharged).
  • 62,722 vaccine doses administered over previous 24 hours.
  • 35,084 tests conducted Saturday.
  • Positivity rate: 19.7 per cent.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported 749,866 cases and 11,966 deaths linked to COVID-19.

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10:50 a.m.

Legault afraid to be held accountable or thinks he’s above listening to opposition: Nadeau-Dubois

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10:30 a.m.

André Fortin, provincial Liberal house leader, tests positive

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9:50 a.m.

Djokovic back in practice after winning appeal to stay in Australia

From the Reuters news agency:

World tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic was back in practice hours after winning a court challenge to remain in Australia on Monday, thanking the judge who released him from immigration detention and saying he remained focused on his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam win in Melbourne.

The fight over his medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination may not be over, however, as the Australian government said it was still considering another move to deport him.

“I am pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation,” Djokovic wrote on Twitter, where he posted a photograph of himself on court at the Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park. “Despite all that has happened I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open.”

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Earlier Judge Anthony Kelly had ruled the federal government’s decision last week to revoke the Serbian tennis star’s visa amid was “unreasonable” and ordered his release.

There were chaotic scenes on Monday evening as supporters who had gathered outside the lawyers’ office chanting “Free Novak!” surged around a black car with tinted windows leaving the building, while police at one stage used pepper spray as they tried to clear a path.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he was considering using his broad discretionary powers he is given by Australia’s Migration Act to again revoke Djokovic’s visa. Such a move could include a three-year ban on re-entering Australia.

“The minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing,” the spokesman said.

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The controversy has been closely followed around the world, creating diplomatic tensions between Belgrade and Canberra and sparking heated debate over national vaccination rules.


9:50 a.m.

Alberta student, parents say they feel abandoned as K-12 kids return to school

From The Canadian Press:

Twelve-year-old Charlie Kozak wasn’t feeling safe about having to be in class today.

“It’s a chaotic mess,” Charlie said during a phone interview from his home as he prepared to return to his school in Calgary.

“I know some people in my class travelled out of country over Christmas break. Some people have done unsafe family gatherings. We’re allowed to take masks off at our desks next to them (that) aren’t six feet apart.

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“It’s unsafe.”

While some parents are relieved that students in Grades K-12 are returning to classes after an extended holiday break, many say they are concerned and frustrated about unclear instructions from the Alberta government on how it plans to contain a surge in COVID-19 infections in classrooms caused by the Omicron variant.

The province had an almost 40 per cent positivity rate last week. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has promised thousands of test kits will be delivered to students and parents over the next few days but has left it up to schools to report and track infections.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, has said a return to in-person learning is critical and necessary for students’ mental wellness.

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“We know the COVID infection has a low — but not zero — risk for children. We also know in-person learning is critically important for many kids’ educational and social development and provides a sense of stability and normalcy in these challenging times,” she said last week.


9:30 a.m.

Booster shots now available for Quebecers 40 and older

Quebecers 40 and up became eligible on Monday to book appointments for their third vaccine dose against COVID-19.

Read our full story.


9:30 a.m.

Stronger action, more vaccinations urged as Quebec hospitalizations surge

As Quebec set another record this weekend for hospitalizations and people in intensive care with COVID-19, experts called for further efforts to entice the unvaccinated to get a jab.

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Read our full story, by Marian Scott.


9:30 a.m.

Quebec College of Physicians criticizes CAQ government, calls for stricter measures for the unvaccinated

Quebec’s College of Physicians wants the provincial government to fast track measures that would target the province’s unvaccinated population.

It also criticized the provincial government’s messaging on screening, rapid tests and the need to isolate, saying communication needs to be “more transparent and consistent.”

Read our full story.


9:30 a.m.

Opinion: François Legault’s ‘common sense’ curfew makes zero sense

“Citizens of Quebec arise! Demand the revolutionary right to … take a stroll after 10 p.m., without a dog. Or see a family member.”

Read Josh Freed’s latest column.

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9:30 a.m.

Opinion: Tennis star Novak Djokovic is behaving like a spoiled brat

“For people who have lined up to get their vaccines, worn masks, washed their hands, accepted every restriction, even grumbled their way through the most recent unnecessary curfew, Novak Djokovic is everything that drives those who are simply trying to survive into a blind rage.”

Read Jack Todd’s latest column.


9:30 a.m.

Tax break for working from home extended, deduction increased

While no supporting documents are required to claim the maximum working-from-home deduction on federal and provincial income tax forms, you’re only supposed to claim $2 for each day worked from home.

Read Paul Delean’s latest personal finance column.

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9:15 a.m.

The situation across Canada

Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiological update .


9:15 a.m.

Quebec COVID guide: Vaccinations, vaccine passports, testing, restrictions, curfew

Vaccinations

Vaccine passport

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Testing

Pandemic restrictions

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Curfew

        • Quebec is one of the few jurisdictions in the world with a pandemic curfew.
        • It runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. across the province.
        • Anyone who breaks it is liable to fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. Teenagers over the age of 14 are subject to $500 fines.
        • Only essential workers travelling to or from work and certain others are exempt from it. The government has published a full list of exemptions. After an uproar, Quebec backtracked and allowed dog-walking during the curfew.

8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can sign up here .


ariga@postmedia.com

Read my previous live blogs here.


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