COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Quebec with 1,314 new infections, five deaths

·2 min read

MONTREAL — Quebec's public health institute says the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the province likely involve variants of concern as the government reported the highest number of new daily cases since January.

The Institut national de sante publique says 57.1 per cent of screening tests for variants over the past week have been positive.

Those preliminary tests must be confirmed by sequencing, a process that takes at least a week.

On Thursday, public health officials in Quebec City said between 70 and 80 per cent of all cases there now involve variants, particularly the one first detected in the United Kingdom.

Quebec is reporting 1,314 new cases of COVID-19 today and five additional deaths linked to the virus, including one within the past 24 hours.

The Health Department says the number of hospitalizations rose by 16 to 503, while the number of people in intensive care climbed by two to 121 in the past 24 hours.

The province is reporting 305 new cases in Quebec City today, up from 96 a week ago. In the Outaouais region, bordering Ontario, daily case counts have jumped from 68 a week ago to 143 today.

Cities in both of those regions were placed under a lockdown for at least 10 days starting on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, the owner of a Quebec City gym linked to dozens of COVID-19 cases is defending himself.

Dan Marino, the owner of the Mega Fitness Gym said in a post on Facebook Thursday evening that his gym was following rules around mask-wearing and social distancing.

Marino says he has COVID-19 but is doing well.

Public health officials ordered the gym to close on Wednesday, saying they found multiple issues. They say the gym has been linked to at least 120 cases of COVID-19 and 20 workplace outbreaks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press