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Quebec adds 1,333 new COVID-19 cases, 23 more deaths as hospitalizations surge

People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s novel coronavirus caseload continues to climb after the province reported 1,333 new infections Monday.

There are 23 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. This includes eight deaths in the last 24-hour period.

Since the health crisis bore down in March, there have been 142,371 cases, while more than 122,000 recoveries have been reported.

The death toll, which remains the highest in the country, officially topped the grim milestone of 7,000 over the weekend. As of Monday, it stands at 7,056.

Read more: Montreal long-term care home sends 20 residents to hospital after COVID-19 outbreak

Hospitalizations rose by 28 to 693. Of those patients, there are 94 in intensive care, two more than the day before.

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Health Minister Christian Dubé said the situation over the past few days is “worrying.”

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“I remind you that we must continue to respect all measures and limit our contacts to bring down the number of cases,” he wrote on Twitter. “We need everyone’s co-operation.”

Health authorities say 27,115 tests were given Saturday, the latest day for which screening information has been tallied. So far, there have been more than 3.8 million tests.

Air quality tests in health-care facilities

Quebec health officials said air quality tests conducted in long-term care homes and hospitals from earlier in November revealed satisfactory readings.

The results come as an expert panel examines the link between air quality and COVID-19 spread, with particular attention to schools and health-care facilities. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are considered a good indicator of ventilation efficiency.

On Monday, Dubé said an analysis of carbon dioxide levels was done at his request and took place between Nov. 19 and 23 in about 70 establishments, mostly in the Quebec City area and in central Quebec.

Last week, the Education Ministry announced additional tests to measure carbon dioxide levels in classrooms would be carried out by service centres starting on Dec. 1 to ensure current standards are being met.

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With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier and The Canadian Press