Respiratory disease

7 September 2023

COVID-19: Interim Recommendations on Preventive Workplace Measures for Pregnant and Nursing Workers

The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) has mandated the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) to establish a working group to develop interim recommendations for workplaces and in the context of the application of preventive withdrawal and reassignment of pregnant or breastfeeding workers.

The working group brings together physicians and professionals at the INSPQ with varying backgrounds in public health, occupational health and infectious diseases, two medical communities of practice that are part of the Québec Health Network in Occupational Health (Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail du Québec, RSPSATQ), namely the “Communauté médicale de pratique d’harmonisation Pour une maternité sans danger (CMPH-PMSD)” and the “Communauté médicale de pratique en santé au travail du Québec (CMPSATQ)”, as well as the Québec Minister of Health and Social Services (MSSS).

These recommendations are based on the reference framework for publ…

2 February 2023

Administration of COVID-19 booster doses: Recommendations for winter and spring 2023

  • This document presents the recommendations of the Comité sur l'immunisation du Québec (CIQ) regarding the direction the COVID-19 vaccination program should take in the winter and spring of 2023 to efficiently achieve its objectives.
  • Since the beginning of the vaccination program, the primary objective has been the protection of the most vulnerable persons and the prevention of severe disease and death due to COVID-19.
  • Vaccines against COVID-19 remain an essential tool given their effectiveness in preventing severe infections, primarily those leading to hospitalizations or death.
  • Individuals with hybrid immunity, following a first episode of COVID-19 and the administration of at least 2 doses of mRNA vaccines, have strong protection against hospitalization due to COVID-19.
  • Vaccinated individuals who have never been infected have less protection against hospitalization due to COVID-19 and this protection decreases over time. 
  • The…
Comité sur l'immunisation du Québec
10 January 2023

Promoting Mental Health in a Post-Pandemic Context: Factors to Target and Actions to Prioritize at the Municipal and Community Levels

The INSPQ was mandated by the Direction générale de la santé publique of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to produce a knowledge synthesis of the scientific literature in order to 1) identify, in literature reviews, the factors associated with mental health in the context of a pandemic or a disaster, factors upon which municipalities can take action; and 2) identify actions at the municipal or community level that influence these factors and help promote mental health in the aftermath of a disaster.

The reviews analyzed show a strong convergence on several factors associated with mental health status, including those related to the social environment: social support, taking pro-social actions (e.g., offering support to friends or neighbours during lockdown), social isolation and feelings of loneliness, or restricting contact and periods of confinement. The same is true for factors related to the socioeconomic status of individuals, including income, educatio…

19 December 2022

COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Hemodialysis Units

As there is insufficient data on vaccine’s effects on transmission, we cannot modify the various recommendations:

  • Healthcare workers (and patients, when applicable) must continue to respect all infection prevention and control measures, regardless of their vaccination status (hand hygiene, physical distancing, wearing of personal protective equipment).
  • It is too early to determine the impact of vaccination status on exposure criteria of healthcare workers or patients. The recommendations put forward in this document are therefore still in effect.

This document presents the infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic for the evaluation and care of dialysis patients, specifically in ambulatory hemodialysis units, regardless of their origin. The evaluation step is crucial as some of the literature appears to demonstrate that dialysis patients may show few symptoms. Hemodia…

Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec
17 June 2022

Hierarchy of Control Measures in the Workplace

Public health recommendations for occupational health are based on the principle of a hierarchy of preventive and protective occupational health measures according to their effectiveness in the specific context of COVID-19. The measures presented in this information sheet are in addition to other measures recommended for workplaces and workers, which in combination increase worker protection, such as:

  • Exclusion of confirmed cases, case contacts and symptomatic workers.
  • Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and voluntary wearing of face covering.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and objects regularly.
  • Proper ventilation of work areas (premises and vehicles).
  • Communication, information and training, etc.
Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
17 June 2022

COVID-19: Preventive and Protective Measures for Funeral Services Businesses

Institutional caveat

These interim recommendations have been written to support funeral services businesses (FSBs) in applying preventive and protective measures when taking charge of the bodies of COVID-19 cases. Measures intended to ensure the safety of FSB workers and clients during funeral activities are also proposed.

These measures are based on the information available at the time they were developed as well as on expert opinion. Based on knowledge drawn from Canadian and international public health organizations, they include findings and recommendations that may need to be revised as scientific knowledge related to the current pandemic evolves. To this end, the Institute has implemented scientific monitoring targeting various topics to enable it to identify emerging knowled…

25 February 2022

Temporary Foreign Workers - Practical Information for Employers

If a worker gets sick, all of their coworkers and housemates may have to be isolated. These preventive measures are aimed at protecting the health of all workers so companies can continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic while respecting workers’ rights and freedoms. Employers are responsible for providing accommodations and working conditions that make it possible for temporary foreign workers to comply with these measures. Temporary foreign workers are responsible for complying with these measures.

Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
23 December 2021

COVID-19: Pregnant and Breastfeeding Workers - Preventive Measures in the Workplace

This is a supplement to the document COVID-19 (SRAS-CoV-2) : Recommandations intérimaires sur les mesures de prévention en milieux de travail pour les travailleuses enceintes ou qui allaitent version 3.0, July 13, 2020. [in French only]

In Québec, a worker who is pregnant or breastfeeding may avail herself of a preventive reassignment as outlined in the For a Safe Maternity Experience program set out by the Act respecting occupational health and safety (RLRQ c S-2.1, articles 40 and 46).

This version 3.0 of recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers has been created in the ongoing context of the SARS-CoV-2 virus circulating in Québec and the resumption of professional activities, and in the context of lockdown lifting and lockdown.


  • Since December 31, 2019, the outbreak of acute respiratory infections and atypical pneu…
15 December 2021

The Diet of Adults in Québec and Canada in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This synthesis of data aims to inform decision-makers and stakeholders about changes in the diets of adults in Québec and Canada during the pandemic and to guide subsequent work to promote healthy eating in the current context and for years to come. For around half the themes examined, the data was insufficient to draw conclusions. For the other half of the themes identified, while the data represent self-reported perceptions of change and are based on small non-probability and/or non-representative samples, some conclusions could be drawn.
The available data suggest that some adults in Québec and Canada changed their food intake and eating habits, while others maintained theirs, during the first year of the pandemic. Certain changes promoted health while others adversely affected it:
  • While 10%–25% of respondents indicated that they were eating more fruits and vegetables, around 10%–20% indicated that they were eating less. The majority (65…