Quebec announced it surpassed its COVID-19 testing goal of 14,000 on Sunday, reporting it administered in excess of 15,000 tests on Friday, as testing data takes up to 48 hours to be released.
On Saturday, health officials announced the province had for the first time met its 14,000 testing goal on Thursday.
Quebec counted 44 more COVID-19-related deaths on Sunday, bringing the provincial death toll up to 3,984.
Health authorities also reported 573 additional confirmed cases, bringing the number of COVID-19 cases across the province to 47,411 — with more than 23,900 of those people testing positive in hard-hit Montreal, the epicentre of the outbreak in both the province and country.
After admitted issues with testing, the government announced on Saturday it had done 14,572 tests in one day — surpassing its daily target of 14,000 for the first time since announcing the benchmark on May 1, deemed necessary as the province continues to gradually ease restrictions.
On Sunday officials announced 15,687 and 15,375 test were administered and analyzed, respectively.
The province had previously managed more than 13,000 tests twice earlier this month.
The testing triumph comes after Premier François Legault said he was “impatient” this week with the number of people being screened as the province announced a series of measures relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.
The province had set a goal of up to 100,000 COVID-19 tests per week ahead of elementary schools, factories, construction and businesses resuming outside Montreal.
Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault said on Friday that testing alongside physical distancing rules, wearing masks in public and frequent handwashing were all keys as the province gradually resumes activities this month.
“We need the collaboration of Quebecers: If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who is sick, we ask you to go for a test,” Guilbault said Friday, as a public health rule allowing for gatherings with a maximum of 10 people from up to three families with social distancing measures in place took effect.
The province will further relax measures on Monday when some retail businesses are set to reopen in the greater Montreal area, the region hardest hit by the virus in Canada.
Public health has urged masks be worn across the province, particularly on public transit or other areas where keeping a two-metre distance can’t be met. Transit agencies in the Montreal area are handing out masks next week.
As of Sunday 1,435 people are in hospital with the virus, including 170 in intensive care. Health officials reported that 14,331 people have so far recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec.
–With files from The Canadian Press