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‘We are still in control,’ Legault says as Quebec adds 1,218 new COVID-19 cases, 25 more deaths

A man wears a face mask as he crosses a street in Montreal, Sunday, November 15, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

Quebec is reporting 1,218 new cases and 25 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus Monday as the second wave of the health crisis bears down on the country.

Health authorities say six of the newly reported deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while 19 were added retroactively from last week.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says the situation is improving in some regions but that good days must lead to a downward trend of infections.

“That’s why we’re asking everyone to continue their efforts to break this second wave,” he wrote.

Read more: Teachers’ unions, parents group say Quebec schools should stay open during pandemic

Since March, the province has seen 125,072 cases while more than 105,000 recoveries have been reported. The death toll stands at 6,651.

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Hospitalizations rose by four to 591. This includes 87 patients in intensive care, a decrease of two from the previous day.

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The province administered 23,217 tests on Saturday, the latest day for which screening data is available. So far, more than 3.5 million tests have been given.

Over the weekend, Quebec saw its highest single-day tally of new coronavirus cases with 1,448 new infections. The province has averaged 1,297 daily cases in the past week.

READ MORE: Quebec Education Ministry decides to go ahead with school board elections amid COVID-19 crisis

Premier François Legault said Monday that discussions are still ongoing with public health authorities about the upcoming holiday season and whether or not to close schools. Last week, he admitted the government is looking at temporarily shutting down schools amid an uptick in cases, but he stressed all options are being considered.

It is still too early to decide what restrictions will be in place for Christmas gatherings, Legault said, but the province is “closely following” the evolving second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No decision has been made,” he told reporters Monday.

Despite a recent rise in new cases, the premier also maintained that the province is “still in control” since the number of hospitalizations remains under 600.

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“It’s going not bad with our health-care system so for now, I think it’s OK,” he said. “We’re in control, we’re still in control but we follow the evolution every day.”

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— With files from the Canadian Press