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Quebec records highest daily COVID-19 total in more than a month

A woman walks past a COVID-19 sign in Montreal North. Paul Chiasson/ The Canadian Press

Quebec is reporting 945 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily number in more than a month.

The last day Quebec recorded a higher caseload was on Feb. 12, when 1,036 infections were reported.

Earlier this week, Quebec Premier François Legault said the province has been averaging around 700 new cases a day.

Read more: Montreal gyms prepare to re-open following nearly six-month COVID-19 shutdown

Legault said the numbers showed the situation was stabilizing and that Quebec was keeping a third wave at bay.

To date, 305,435 have been infected with the virus, including 704 confirmed cases linked to variants. Health officials predict the more transmissible variants will make up the majority of new cases in Quebec by the end of the month.

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Read more: Quebec teachers’ unions call for vaccines as high school students set to return to class full time

Four more deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, including one in the last 24 hours. The three remaining deaths are said to have occurred between March 18 and March 23.

Since the beginning of the health crisis, the province has lost 10,630 Quebecers to the virus.

Overall hospitalizations decreased by 12 in the past day for a total of 496 patients requiring treatment. Of those, 117 are in intensive care — one less than Wednesday.

Those already infected with COVID-19 only need one vaccine shot

Vaccination remains on track with 39, 814 doses administered on Wednesday for a total of 1,065,823 shots representing 12.6 per cent of the population.

Quebec’s Health Department is now saying that those with a confirmed COVID-19 infection will only need a single dose of vaccine.

Health officials say the province’s immunization committee and its public health institute have concluded a single shot is sufficient, because previously infected patients have built up an immunity during infection.

The single dose in that case after an infection will act as a booster.

The Health Department says new scientific data shows an excellent immune response with just one dose for these people, but immunosuppressed people with a previous COVID-19 infection should get both doses of the vaccine.

Vaccination clinic workers are asking people whether they’ve had a confirmed COVID-19 infection at the time of the first shot.

While they say it makes the second dose unnecessary, officials say people wanting to receive a second dose will get one.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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