MONTREAL — Quebec reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus on Friday as infections fell back into double digits after a spike mid-week.
Health officials said hospitalizations dropped by three compared with the prior day, for a total of 110. The number of patients in intensive care was unchanged at 34.
After reporting 126 infections on Wednesday, the province has recorded two days in a row below the 100 mark. Data that was not released Thursday because of the Canada Day holiday showed 93 new infections and four COVID-19-related deaths, officials said.
Quebec has 841 active reported infections.
The government says 88,615 vaccine doses were administered on Thursday, with 81 per cent of Quebecers over 12 having received a first dose and 30 per cent of the total population considered fully vaccinated.
The province closed out June by administering 124,000 doses on Wednesday, a new daily record for vaccinations.
On Friday, Quebec began permitting up to 5,000 people to gather for festivals and outdoor events, up from a previous maximum capacity of 3,500. The allowance includes distancing and masks when moving about.
The City of Montreal was to hold two ticketed outdoor viewing parties Friday night for Game 3 of Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup final series against Tampa Bay — one in the city's Quartier des Spectacles district and another on the Olympic Stadium's esplanade in the city's east end.
Public health officials confirmed Thursday the number of people allowed inside the Bell Centre would remain at 3,500. "This decision was taken in order to limit the risks of spread," the department said in a statement.
Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's public health director, told Radio-Canada's morning show on Friday that he understood the frustration of fans, but he said the province isn't ready to hold massive indoor events, saying the vaccination levels and the presence of the contagious Delta variant make it impossible.
Quebec has recorded 77 sequenced cases of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus — the variant first detected in India. More than half of those have been in Montreal, according to data from the province's public health institute.
Arruda told listeners that If people want more freedom later this summer and into the fall, the most important thing is to get two doses of vaccine.
The province has reported a total of 375,019 COVID-19 infections and 11,217 deaths linked to the virus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July, 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press