MONTREAL — Quebec reported 179 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, marking the lowest number of new daily cases seen in the province since Sept. 7 and the seventh straight day with fewer than 300 new confirmed cases.
For the first time since Sept. 14, authorities reported no additional deaths linked to the disease, though deaths are often reported later.
The Health Department said the number of hospitalizations declined by nine from Saturday and now stand at 274, while the number of patients in intensive care dipped by three to 61.
Authorities said 83,166 doses of vaccine were administered in the previous 24 hours for a total of 6,096,312.
Montreal reported the highest number of new cases in the province with 57. No other region in the province logged more than 20 new cases.
On a per capita basis, the Chaudière-Appalaches region, south of Quebec City, is the most affected, with 60 active infections per 100,000 people. There are currently 32 active cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in Quebec.
"So far, the reopening plan is working," Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a post on Twitter. "We must continue to follow the measures and get vaccinated."
Everywhere in Quebec still at the province's highest pandemic alert level — including the cities of Montreal and Laval — will move to a lower restriction level as of Monday.
Restaurant dining rooms and gyms will be allowed to reopen in those regions, and high school students will return to in person classes full-time instead of having online classes on alternating days.
Six other Quebec regions and part of a seventh that are already at lower alert levels will see restrictions eased further on Monday. That includes the regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord and Nord du Québec, which will move to the province's green or lowest alert level. Indoor gatherings consisting of 10 people or the residents of no more than three households are permitted in green zones.
Also on Monday, people over 80 will be able to reschedule their appointments to receive a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The provincial government halved the interval between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines on Thursday, reducing it to eight weeks from 16.
The interval between doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was shortened to eight weeks the week before.
The province has logged 371,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11,149 deaths linked to the disease.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press