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Quebec sees 905 new coronavirus cases, 12 more deaths as hospitalizations drop

A woman wears a face mask as she commutes on a city bus in Montreal, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec is reporting 905 new infections of the novel coronavirus Friday, bringing its caseload to 98,226.

“As the weekend approaches, I invite all Quebecers to remain cautious, despite the stabilization of cases,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said on social media. “We must continue to limit our number of contacts and reduce the number of cases.”

There are 12 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Health authorities say four of them occurred in the last 24 hours.

The pandemic has led to 6,106 deaths in the province since March. The death toll represents more than half of Canada’s fatalities linked to the virus.

READ MORE: Quebec City will lose health-care services if people don’t respect COVID-19 rules: Guilbault

On Friday, the number of hospitalizations dropped by 13 to 540. Of those patients, 99 are in intensive care, a decrease of two from the previous day.

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To date, there have been more than 82,000 recoveries in the province, which has been the hardest hit by the health crisis.

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The province carried out 27,183 tests Wednesday, the latest day for which screening information is available. So far, 2,914,409 tests have been administered.

L’Épiphanie turns red

The Quebec government has also raised the coronavirus alert level for the city of L’Épiphanie to red.

Dubé said in a statement that public health authorities recommended the change.

“It reminds us that the virus circulates extensively in all communities, and that each person has an important role to play in efforts to stop this spread,” he said.

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Coronavirus: Quebec infections stabilize but government officials worried – Oct 22, 2020

The move means the L’Assomption area, which a suburb off the island of Montreal located in the Lanaudière region, is now red.

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The partial lockdown measures will come into effect for L’Épiphanie starting Monday, which means bars, museums and theatres will be shutdown in the city. The tightened restrictions for schools in red zones will be enforced starting next Wednesday.

A large swath of southern Quebec has turned red. This includes the province’s two largest cities, Montreal and Quebec City.

Hospitalizations likely to stabilize or decrease

A Quebec health institute is projecting that the number of patients needing care over the next four weeks will not surpass the health network’s dedicated COVID-19 capacity.

The INSPQ, the government-funded institute, released its weekly projections Friday, stating that the number of new cases across all age groups for the week ending Oct. 18 remained stable compared to the previous week.

It says should COVID-19 transmission remain constant, hospitalizations should stabilize or decrease across the province.

Read more: ‘Chances are low’ restaurants in coronavirus red zones will reopen soon, Quebec premier says

With files from the Canadian Press