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Quebec reviewing dozens of positive coronavirus tests as cases spike

A woman checks her phone as she waits in line to enter a mobile COVID-19 test clinic in Mercier, Que., Thursday, July 9, 2020.
A woman checks her phone as she waits in line to enter a mobile COVID-19 test clinic in Mercier, Que., Thursday, July 9, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

As the COVID-19 health crisis continues, Quebec saw a jump in novel coronavirus infections, reporting 142 new cases on Wednesday.

Authorities say that 40 of those new cases — which were reported in Montreal — are being investigated due to a suspected contamination of laboratory samples.

The spike in new cases comes the day before many children in the Montreal area head back to class for the first day of school.

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The province has seen a total of 61,945 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, to date. It has the highest caseload in the country. As of Wednesday, there are 54,922 recoveries.

READ MORE: Quebec high school teacher resigns over government’s COVID-19 guidelines

Quebec also reported one additional death Wednesday, which officials say occurred between Aug. 19 and 24.

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Since the pandemic first struck in March, the virus has led to the deaths of 5,747 Quebecers. The death toll accounts for roughly more than half of Canada’s deaths linked to the new coronavirus.

Hospitalizations, however, are down. There are 110 people in hospital, a decrease of eight from the previous day. Of those patients, 12 remain in intensive care.

The province conducted 11,440 tests Monday, the most recent day for which testing data is available. The government’s goal is to administer 14,000 daily tests.

With files from the Canadian Press