COVID-19 cases in Quebec not expected to exceed hospital capacity: institute

Jacob Serebrin
·2 min read

MONTREAL — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec topped 1,000 for the third straight day Friday, but a provincial public health institute says the province's hospitals are not expected to be overwhelmed over the next four weeks.

There is, however, a risk that could change outside of the Montreal region, Quebec's National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services said.

"Fluctuations in the transmission rate" are creating a "degree of uncertainty" in those regions, the institute said in a statement Friday.

Health Minister Christian Dube said in a statement the projections show the situation remains under control but no part of Quebec is immune.

At a Friday press conference, Dube once again expressed concern about the situation in two regions: Saguenay, north of Quebec City, and Lanaudiere, north of Montreal. Premier Francois Legault on Thursday called the situation in those regions "the worst" in Quebec on a per-capita basis.

Meanwhile, two people are dead due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at a private seniors residence in the Gaspe region, northeast of Quebec City.

Regional health authorities say 44 residents tested positive for COVID-19 and two have been transferred to hospital. Nine workers at the residence, located in the town of Matane, as well as two caregivers have also tested positive for the virus.

There are currently seven private seniors residences and seven public long-term care homes where more than 25 per cent of residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health ministry.

Ongoing outbreaks in long-term care centres have been linked to 183 deaths, while 74 deaths have been associated with ongoing outbreaks in private seniors residences.

There were nearly 4,000 deaths associated with COVID-19 in long-term care homes and private seniors residences during the first wave of the pandemic.

Public health authorities reported 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 25 additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus. It was the second day in a row that Quebec has reported more than 1,100 new cases.

However, Dube told reporters it's important to look at the seven-day moving average of new cases, which remains slightly above 1,000.

Provincial health authorities say 539 people are currently in hospital, an increase of one from the previous day, and of those, 77 are in intensive care, a decline of five from the previous day.

There have now been a total of 112,189 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Quebec and 6,403 deaths associated with the novel coronavirus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

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

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press