The Gleaner
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Vaccination clinic to open in Ormstown; new mask guidelines for elementary school students

The Montérégie-West Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSSMO) has announced it will be opening more vaccination sites in the region, including a location in Ormstown as of March 19. An additional site will also be opening in Vaudreuil-Dorion as of March 11.

CISSSMO President and CEO Yves Masse confirmed that with the implementation of these additional sites, there would be at least one vaccination clinic per local health network in the Montérégie-West. “I am extremely proud of the rigour and speed that our teams have demonstrated in setting up the vaccination clinics, which are essential in this fight against COVID-19. Our staff are ready to vaccinate.”

Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that, as of early this afternoon, more than 72,000 appointments for vaccinations had already been booked by seniors aged 85 and over. That amounts to 12.5 appointments per second. The minister also announced that in addition to the 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected in March, the province was now slated to receive 300,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

To meet the demand for vaccinations, the CISSSMO has announced it is recruiting staff to fill a variety of positions, including service assistants, administrative workers, evaluators, as well as those qualified to provide the vaccinations. Anyone wishing to help locally with this massive vaccination campaign is invited to apply through the government’s recruitment website: jecontribuecovid19.gouv.qc.ca.

Masks mandatory on return from break

In an effort to combat the spread of new COVID-19 variants, pediatric procedural masks will be mandatory for students in elementary schools located in red zones outside of the Montreal Metropolitan Community starting on March 15. The pediatric masks will replace face coverings, which are already mandatory for students in Grades 1 to 6.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, the director of the Institut nationale de santé publique du Québec, said during a press conference today that the presence of variants as well as the spike in transmission following the holiday season was behind this new recommendation. Arruda maintained that pediatric procedural masks will help protect students, teachers, staff and the community.

Currently there are 2,403 active cases in Quebec elementary and secondary schools, including 1,960 students and 443 staff members in both the public and private sector.

Public health measures have been loosened for the March break period, however Dubé is requesting Quebecers respect the guidelines, especially with the presence of variants. At this time, 772 suspected cases of variants are being screened. There are now 34 confirmed cases of variants in the province. The government announced that it will provide an update on March 2 as to whether it will be possible to further ease public health restrictions following the return to classes after spring break.

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