Quebec surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 deaths as hospitalizations continue to drop

Quebec has become the first Canadian province to record more than 10,000 deaths from COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Quebec has become the first Canadian province to record more than 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 after the province reported 32 more deaths attributed to the virus on Sunday.

Six of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while the others occurred earlier or at an unknown date, according to health officials.

The province also recorded another 1,081 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 270,058 infections and 10,031 deaths since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations declined by 19 from Saturday to 963.

READ MORE: ‘Go get tested’ if you have any coronavirus symptoms, Quebec health minister says

Of those hospital patients, 158 people are in intensive care, which is one less than Saturday.

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Health Minister Christian Dubé said on Twitter that the decline in new cases and hospitalizations in the last two weeks is encouraging, but that deaths remain too high.

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The province administered 2,033 more vaccines on Saturday for a total of 256,550 so far.

Quebec is hoping to control the potential spread of the new COVD-19 variants by urging the public to be tested as soon as they experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Health authorities say there are eight confirmed cases of the U.K. variant in the province and that the government is closely monitoring the situation.

“The best way to face these variants is the minute you have certain symptoms, go get tested,” he said.

Dubé noted that health officials have not identified other variants — such as from Brazil or South Africa — in Quebec so far.

–with files from the Canadian Press and Kalina Laframboise, Global News

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