Quebec reports 666 new COVID-19 cases, one death, hospitalizations remain stable

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MONTREAL — Quebec reported 666 new COVID-19 cases in its latest data on Saturday, with one additional death attributed to the virus.

The province's health department said the number of patients in hospital remain stable at 147, while the number in intensive care climbed by three to 52.

The seven-day average for new cases stands at 599. According to Health Department data, 81 per cent of the latest new infections were among people who were not adequately vaccinated.

On Twitter, Health Minister Christian Dubé wrote that about 20 new cases have required hospitalization each day over the past week and active hospitalizations have remained stable.

But he noted that intensive care stays for that same period are 36 per cent higher, moving from 38 to 52 cases, and patients are staying longer in the ICU.

"The daily hospital news puts enormous pressure on our staff, especially in Greater Montreal," Dubé wrote Saturday. "To limit the number of hospitalizations and particularly the impact on intensive care, we must continue to increase our vaccination coverage and monitor health measures."

The province administered 25,269 vaccine doses on Friday, including more than 8,300 first doses.

Dubé published a missive on his Facebook page on Friday, saying Quebecers would have to get used to living with the virus as variants emerge in different places, putting off collective immunity against COVID-19.

"Instead of looking for the date when all this will end, we will have to learn to live with the virus," Dubé wrote. "We will have to accept a certain number of cases and a certain number of hospitalizations if we want to return to a normal life."

One of those measures is the province's vaccine passport. Officials said the VaxiCode application that runs the province's proof-of-vaccination system has now been downloaded 3.2 million times.

Quebec launched its vaccine passport on Sept. 1, which is required to access certain non-essential activities and businesses, including bars, restaurant dining rooms, gyms and sports venues.

There is a two-week grace period but as of Sept. 15, people and businesses in violation of the health order could face fines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2021.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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