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Quebec records 844 new coronavirus cases and 359 previously uncounted infections

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Quebec Government warns some COVID-19 restrictions could last for months' Coronavirus: Quebec Government warns some COVID-19 restrictions could last for months
While the number of COVID-19 infections seems to have stabilized over the last week, health officials in Quebec say we're not out of the woods yet and warn that big gatherings may have to be put off indefinitely.

As the novel coronavirus health crisis continues, Quebec is reporting 844 new infections Wednesday.

The caseload has reached 88,994 after the province announced it retroactively added 359 new infections between Oct. 10 and 12 “due to a technical issue that occurred during an update of the computer system, which caused a transmission error.”

“The situation is now resolved,” the update from health officials states. “Note that this correction has changed the seven-day average from 960 cases to 1,011 cases.”

Six additional deaths attributable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, were also recorded Wednesday. Of those, one Quebecer was killed in the last 24 hours. There have been 5,976 deaths to date.

Since March, there have been more than 74,000 recoveries.

Read more: Quebec announces $263M in aid to help Montreal offset financial losses

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Hospitalizations also continued to climb Wednesday, increasing by 20 for a total of 488. The number of intensive care patients stands at 80 after it dropped by five.

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Health Minister Christian Dubé said on social media that the increase means more work needs to be done.

“This shows that we must continue our efforts to bring down the number of cases, which has a direct impact on hospitalizations,” he wrote.

Health authorities say 20,959 tests were carried out on Monday, the latest day for which data is available. So far, 2,698,433 tests have been conducted.

Quebec remains the province hardest hit by the pandemic, with officials saying the second wave is being driven by community transmission.

Read more: 39% of Canadians say coronavirus vaccine should be mandatory, poll says

The latest information comes one day after Premier François Legault expressed cautious optimism about a drop in new cases, but warned that COVID-19 has started to spread to other parts of the province.

“We know that we’ll need some measures for many months because we don’t expect to have a vaccine by December for everybody,” he told reporters Tuesday.

The red zone designation, which calls for tighter measures to curb the spread of the virus, has also been expanded to more regions. A swath of southern Quebec is now in the highest alert level, including Montreal, Quebec City and the Montérégie.

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—with files from The Canadian Press