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Quebec tops 70,000 coronavirus cases as province reports 637 new infections

Some wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Monday, September 21, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.
Some wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Monday, September 21, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec, the province hardest hit by the novel coronavirus health crisis, has surpassed 70,000 cases of the virus.

Health authorities reported 637 new infections linked to COVID-19 on Friday amid an upward trend of cases in recent weeks.

Four more deaths were recorded, but they occurred earlier in September. The total stands at 5,814 since the pandemic struck the province in March.

READ MORE: Glaring flaws in Quebec long-term care homes repeatedly flagged before COVID-19: ombudsman

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Quebec has the highest death toll in the country, representing more than half of Canada’s 9,249 fatalities attributable to the respiratory illness.

Hospitalizations also continued to rise Friday. The number of patients increased by 15 to 199.

Of those, 33 are in intensive care. That is an increase of two from the previous day.

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On Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 36,060 tests were administered. Quebec has given 2,200,307 tests to date.

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Coronavirus: Health minister urges Quebecers to cancel plans for gatherings