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Five more municipalities to enter lockdown as Quebec reports 1,252 new COVID-19 cases

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Quebec reported 1,252 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, hours before five municipalities south of Quebec City are scheduled to enter lockdown.

Health officials reported four more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one within the previous 24 hours. They said hospitalizations rose by one, to 502, and 123 people were in intensive care, a drop of five.

Five municipalities south of Quebec-City are scheduled to enter lockdown Monday at 8 p.m. after reporting sharp rises in COVID-19 infections. The government said the health order will last at least one week. Those five regions are in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, which reported 104 new infections Monday.

READ MORE: Canada sees another Easter weekend with rising COVID-19 cases, tough restrictions

Non-essential businesses and restaurant dining areas are ordered to close, schools will move to virtual learning, and the nighttime curfew will be advanced to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m., in Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Les Etchemins, Nouvelle-Beauce and Robert-Cliche.

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Those five regions join three cities already in lockdown: Quebec City, Levis and Gatineau.

The province says it administered 22,494 doses of vaccine Sunday, for a total of 1,552,215; officials say 18.3 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.

Quebec has reported a total of 317,364 COVID-19 cases and 10,697 deaths linked to the virus; it has 10,271 active reported infections.

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