A little more than three years after the start of the pandemic, Quebec is relaxing its surveillance. The Ministry of Health and Social Services will no longer publish a daily report as it has done since March 2020.

As of Thursday, we will stop disseminating the COVID-19 dashboard, which presented daily data related to the virus. “This decision was made in the context where Quebec is currently moving towards a more comprehensive approach to the management of infectious diseases,” said the ministry’s media relations coordinator, Marie-Claude Lacasse.

“As the evolution of the situation in relation to COVID is stable, we are also noticing a decline in interest in daily or regular monitoring of the situation,” added Ms. Lacasse. Detailed data will still continue to be available on government platforms.

In addition, the COVID-19 detection program in wastewater from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) will be considerably reduced.

The cities of Saguenay, Saint-Georges, Trois-Rivières, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Val-d’Or, Joliette and Drummondville were withdrawn from the program on March 22. The cities of Laval, Rimouski and Sept-Îles were withdrawn on Wednesday.

As of April 12, only data for the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau and Sherbrooke will continue to be updated.

The end of the daily reviews comes as the data became difficult to interpret and sometimes seemed contradictory. On Wednesday, for example, Quebec reported 439 new cases detected by PCR test, bringing the daily average to 367. In addition, around 50 people report on average each day having obtained a positive result from a rapid test. The trend thus seemed to be down slightly in recent weeks.

However, we obtain a completely different portrait by consulting the surveys conducted by the INSPQ or the data concerning the concentration of COVID-19 in the wastewater of the main cities. The soundings rather evoke nearly 21,000 new cases per day. The trend would thus be on the rise lately, when 15,000 cases were reported per day last week. Wastewater data also points to an upward trend in recent weeks.

On the other hand, in the hospitals, the situation continued to relax. The latest report released on Wednesday shows 1,144 hospitalized people who tested positive for COVID-19, down 7% over one week. Of these, 391 patients were hospitalized directly due to their COVID-19 infection, with the remainder admitted for another reason.

Quebec also reported five additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the daily seven-day average to five. The trend has been relatively stable since the beginning of the year.