Quebec recorded 1,599 new cases of COVID-19 and two more pandemic-related deaths Monday as the third wave deepens in the province.
Montreal saw the highest number of infections with 358. The Quebec City area also reported 282 new cases, but that is a significant dip from last week’s high of 449.
Regional health authorities in Quebec City said Monday that the number of cases tied to a superspreading event at the Mega Fitness Gym had risen to 222. The cases at the facility are now linked to 356 secondary infections and 49 outbreaks.
The Outaouais region, in western Quebec, reported 290 new cases, while the Chaudière-Appalaches region, south of the provincial capital, reported 173.
The province’s caseload, which remains one of the highest in the country, stands at 327,982. Meanwhile, recoveries have topped 304,000.
The health crisis has killed 10,744 Quebecers to date. The staggering death toll accounts for nearly half of Canada’s fatalities.
The number of hospitalizations linked to the new coronavirus jumped by 22 to 630. This includes 142 patients in intensive care, a rise of three from the previous day.
The vaccination efforts continued to ramp up over the weekend. The province says 52,705 doses were administered Sunday, with more than 1.9 million jabs given to date.
The most recent screening information shows 27,132 tests were carried out Saturday.
Vaccination open to the chronically ill in Montreal
Quebec has also expanded its vaccination campaign to include those with chronic illnesses in Montreal starting Monday.
People who are being treated for certain illnesses can be vaccinated if they get the go-ahead from their doctor.
Eligible people include those who are hospitalized for a condition such as heart, kidney or lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of immunosuppression.
Montrealers receiving outpatient treatment for dialysis, organ donor recipients and many cancer patients can also receive one of the vaccines, which are mostly being administered in hospitals.
Health Minister Christian Dubé also took to Twitter on Monday to say that walk-in clinics will be maintained for anyone who is 55 and over to get their first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The move comes amid high demand, he said.
Last week, the government expanded its inoculation rollout to include essential workers — such as teachers and first responders — in Montreal.
Fines for curfew violations
Quebec’s Public Security Ministry says 1,252 tickets were doled out to people allegedly flouting curfew in different parts of the province last week.
Of those tickets, Montreal police say they issued 538 fines related to curfew violations from April 5 to 11.
The Sûreté du Québec, meanwhile, issued 316 fines during that same period. These include18 tickets issued to Quebecers on highways across the Greater Montreal area.
From April 5 to 11, the ministry says police officers made 841 visits to people’s homes and issued 33 fines for violating quarantine rules.
— With files from The Canadian Press