Quebec reported 1,049 new COVID-19 cases and 33 virus-related deaths on Saturday, days after easing restrictions provincewide in response to an improved outlook.
Quebec also saw a drop in hospitalizations, which declined by 37 to 812 in the past 24 hours. Of those patients, the province said 130 were in intensive care.
“This is encouraging, but we have to stay cautious, especially with the arrival of new variants,” Quebec health minister Christian Dubé said on Twitter on Saturday. “We must continue our efforts.”
The latest numbers came almost a week after Quebec allowed non-essential businesses to re-open and extended the curfew in orange zones to 9:30 p.m.
Despite hospitalizations and case counts improving since the start of the calendar year, Dubé warned on Friday that premier François Legault is considering imposing more restrictions ahead of Quebec’s spring break week, which begins March 1.
Quebec has also announced plans to ramp up screening of positive cases in Montreal for variants of the virus beginning next week. Two of three variants that are particularly concerning to health officials have been detected in the province so far.
Quebec said on Saturday that five of the province’s most recent fatalities came in the past 24 hours, with 21 occurring between Feb. 6 and Feb. 11 and seven taking place before Feb. 6.
The province also said it administered 8,675 doses of vaccine on Friday, for a total of 290,953.
The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the province is 10,201, with five deaths being withdrawn after an investigation showed they were not caused by the virus.
A total of 275,880 people have contracted the virus in Quebec since the onset of the pandemic.
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