Quebec passes 7,000 COVID-19 deaths, sets new single day record for infections

·2 min read

MONTREAL — Quebec set a new record for daily COVID-19 infections Saturday while surpassing the threshold of 7,000 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

The province reported 1,480 new confirmed cases Saturday, exceeding the previous record set on Thursday of 1,464 new diagnoses.

Meanwhile, the 37 most recent deaths pushed the provincial total to 7,021.

"We must continue to respect health measures throughout Quebec and in all settings if we want to limit the transmission of the virus," Health Minister Christian Dube said through his Twitter account.

Of the deaths, 10 were recorded in the past 24 hours while another 23 were recorded during a five-day period between last Saturday and Thursday.

The number of hospitalizations increased slightly, with nine more patients seeking care for a total of 678. The number of patients in intensive care increased by three to 93.

The Quebec government has said it  will need to see a reduction in cases to trigger a plan to allow for a maximum of two gatherings of 10 people from three households between Dec. 24 and 27.

Health authorities want people to quarantine for one week before and one week after the proposed four-day gathering period.

The province is expected to introduce new measures and some restrictions for patients in long-term care homes and seniors residences ahead of the holidays to keep COVID-19 out of those facilities. 

"Those new rules are going to be published early in the next week," Dr. Horacio Arruda said on Friday during a news conference in the Saguenay.

On Saturday, four long-term care homes and 14 seniors' residences were  listed as critical in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases.

Much of the province has been at the highest COVID alert since October, with restaurant dining, gyms and entertainment venues now shuttered until at least Jan. 11.

The province has 11,716 active cases of COVID-19.

Montreal reported the most new infections with 429, followed by Monteregie, south of Montreal, with 215 cases and Lanaudiere, northeast of the city, with 120.

The province has now reported 139,643 COVID-19 cases and 7,021 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, along with 1,179 new recoveries for a total of 120,906.

The province conducted 29,652 tests on Thursday, the last day for which numbers were available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press