Quebec reports nearly 1,200 new COVID-19 cases, rise in hospitalizations

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People queue outside a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal on October 17.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec is reporting a spike in COVID-19 cases today with nearly 1,200 new infections.

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Apart from 1,196 new cases, the province is also reporting two more deaths, which are attributed to the novel coronavirus.

After 28 patients were admitted to the hospital and 16 were discharged, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 rose by 12 to 239 as compared to the day before. The number of people in intensive care increased by one to 52.

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Health Minister Christian Dubey said this morning that health officials expect cases to be in this range after the easing of some restrictions in November.

But Dubey told a news conference that the government does not want the daily numbers to be any higher during the holiday season, when Quebecers are expected to gather indoors.

Dubey said there was no need to panic, but added that Quebecers should remain vigilant and follow public health orders.

“I want to remember Quebecers, we need to keep those numbers down so that we can enter Christmas at the right level, and not just for us, but for the people who work in hospitals,” he said.

“So, no panic, but we need to be really cautious over the next few weeks.”

He said the rise in cases is problematic because children aged five to 11 have only started getting vaccinated and because most adults have not received a booster dose. He said the number of hospitalizations in the province was increasing by about 10 a day.

According to provincial figures, health workers administered just over 23,000 doses of vaccine in the past 24 hours. About 12,000 of them went to children under the age of 12, and another 6,123 were boosters that were given to children 70 and older.

Dubey said the province’s authorities had not identified any new cases linked to the Omicron version of the novel coronavirus, adding that officials were investigating all of Tuesday’s positive cases. Quebec has so far identified one case of the Omicron variant.

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