Quebec Premier François Legault has tested positive for COVID-19 but is doing well, he announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
“This afternoon, I started experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. I took a test and received a positive result,” he tweeted.
The premier says he will continue to work remotely for the next five days, in accordance with public health guidelines.
“We see it with the rise in cases lately: the virus is present in Quebec,” Legault said on Twitter. “Let’s continue to be careful. We’ll get through this together!”
Legault’s announcement comes just as Quebec is bracing for a potential surge in new cases and hospitalizations.
1/2 Cet après-midi, j’ai commencé ressentir des symptômes de la COVID-19. J’ai passé un test de dépistage et j’ai reçu un résultat positif.
Je me sens bien.?
Quebec’s interim public health director, Dr. Luc Boileau, said on Wednesday that a new round of vaccinations will begin next week for some of the province’s most vulnerable, and the mask mandate will stay in effect until mid-April, as planned.
Residents of long-term care and retirement homes will be first on the list to get another booster by early next week, said Boileau.
Any Quebecer aged 80 and up will also have access to the new dose, he said, as will those who rely on in-home care through the public health system.
Boileau said cases and hospitalizations are again on the rise, and the risk of catching and transmitting the virus remains high.
“I ask you all to be careful,” said Boileau, describing the Omicron subvariant BA.2 as a “game changer.”
The subvariant is 30 to 50 per cent more contagious than Omicron, he said, and that’s why cases are rising everywhere.
The number of hospitalizations has gone up by 28 to 1,062 in the last 24 hours, according to Quebec Public Health.
Also in the last 24 hours, Quebec recorded 2,295 new cases, which is considered an underestimate, since PCR testing of the general public was stopped in early January.
Tests remain available to those in high-risk settings such as hospitals, long-term care homes, detention centers and homeless shelters.