Quebec reports 1,282 new COVID-19 cases, three additional virus-related deaths

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MONTREAL — Public health authorities in Quebec reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday.

The latest figures from the Health Department added 1,282 new infections to the provincial tally on Saturday, along with three additional deaths linked to the virus.

It said the number of hospitalizations declined by two from the day before to 501, while the number of patients in intensive care rose by three to 124.

The number of people in intensive care has been rising over the past few days, Health Minister Christian Dube wrote in a post on Twitter, adding that "the impact of new variants is being monitored very closely."

Quebec's public health institute said Saturday that it has confirmed 453 additional cases of coronavirus variants of concern.

There have now been 1,592 confirmed cases of variants in the province.

An additional 771 suspected cases of variants have been detected through screening tests, it said, noting more than 60 per cent of screening tests have been positive for variants over the past seven days.

Provincial police said they broke up a gathering of around 20 people at a residence in Shawinigan, Que., northeast of Montreal, on Friday night. Police said they'd ticketed 17 people for gathering at the same residence the night before.

Provincial police have said they will be more visible over the long weekend as they enforce protective COVID-19-related measures, including Quebec's curfew.

Public health authorities said 47,194 doses of vaccine were administered on Friday, for a total of 1,488,347.

Quebec has reported a total of 314,958 cases of COVID-19 and 10,684 deaths linked to the disease.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2021.

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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