MONTREAL — Quebec recorded another day of rising COVID-19 cases Saturday while setting a new high for daily vaccinations.
Health authorities reported 1,754 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
There were 14 more patients requiring hospital care for a total of 583, with the number in intensive care rising by four to 138.
Quebec set another daily record for inoculations on Friday, administering more than 73,023 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted that 530,000 Quebecers have received a dose in the past nine days and the goal of having every adult having received a first dose by the Fete nationale holiday on June 24 remains on track.
"While we are vaccinating, we must continue to respect the measures, we must limit the spread of the virus," Dube wrote. "Now is not the time to relax (efforts), despite the good weather."
The province has administered 1,829,011 shots since the immunization campaign began, with 21.4 per cent of the province having received at least one dose.
Montreal led the way with 428 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, followed by Quebec City with 410 and Chaudiere-Appalaches, just south of the provincial capital, with 220. The Laurentians, the Outaouais in western Quebec and Monteregie, south of Montreal, also each reported more than 100 cases.
There are now 12,371 active reported cases in the province.
On Saturday, Quebec's Health Department announced that it was opening up vaccinations to health care and social service sector workers who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who work directly with patients.
The latest group includes a long list of workers such as those working in private medical clinics, dental clinics, pharmacies and community workers who interact with high-risk clientele.
Authorities decided to split vaccinations of health-care workers into two phases due to a slowdown in vaccine deliveries in February.
The Health Department also announced unvaccinated health care workers or those who refuse to provide a proof of vaccination will be required to take a COVID-19 screening test.
The measure comes into effect Saturday. The province has said the decree is due to the risk presented by more contagious COVID-19 variants and worries about large-scale outbreaks in environments where there are vulnerable users or activities that are deemed critical .
Those who haven't received a dose for more than 14 days or refuse to provide proof will be required to undergo recurrent preventive screening. Refusal could lead to reassignment to similar tasks or withdrawal from the system, the province said.
Quebec has now reported 324,848 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 301,740 recoveries and 10,737 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, with two removed from the tally after being found not to be attributed to the virus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021.
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press