New coronavirus-related hospitalizations will mostly be in Montreal, projections show

In Quebec, the vast majority of anticipated hospitalizations due to COVID-19 will be concentrated in Montreal and surrounding regions in the coming weeks, according to new projections.

The Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) estimates that 86 per cent of new patients requiring hospitalization for the novel coronavirus will be located in Montreal, Laval, Montérégie, Lanaudière and the Laurentians.

The province’s hospitals aren’t expected to exceed capacity, however. As of Thursday, about one-third of the regular care beds and half of the intensive care beds in Quebec hospitals designated for COVID-19 patients are occupied.

The latest projections, which were released publicly Thursday, had already been seen by Premier François Legault and his team before he announced the loosening of some public health restrictions for areas outside of Montreal.

Read more: Quebec eases COVID-19 restrictions in some regions, maintains Montreal at highest alert level

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Under the government’s changes, four more regions will move from red to orange next week. These regions are not where INESSS anticipates the majority of new hospitalizations.

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The institute’s projections take into account the anticipated effects that will come with lifting certain measures that were announced before the school break began, as well as the effects of Quebec’s vaccination rollout.

Elsewhere in Quebec, an overrun of hospital capacity over the next three weeks is described as “improbable.” Only 14 per cent of regular beds and eight per cent of intensive care beds designated for COVID-19 patients are currently occupied.

Beyond the availability of beds, however, other factors affect hospital capacity, such as the availability of staff.

COVID-19 vaccine limbo: Dozens of Quebec seniors stranded

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