Quebec is reporting 1,527 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths Friday as vaccination gains ground in the province.
Montreal accounts for 355 new infections while the hard-hit area of Quebec City recorded 294. The Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions, where emergency measures remain in place, saw 204 and 151 cases, respectively.
As the third wave continues, it is the third day in a row that the daily new case count has topped 1,500. Meanwhile, intensive care unit numbers have steadily climbed for more than week.
When it comes to hospitalizations related to the new coronavirus, there are three more patients for a total of 664. This includes 167 people in intensive care, a jump of eight from the previous day.
On the bright side, Quebec set a new vaccination record. Health Minister Christian Dubé says 74,927 shots were given Thursday, the highest single-day tally to date.
This includes 15,522 doses in pharmacies — another milestone for the inoculation campaign.
Those numbers are likely to increase as Quebec expands vaccinations to 1,500 pharmacies across the province. Earlier this week, the government said more than 25 per cent of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
The rollout is quickly gaining steam, according to Dubé. He wrote on Twitter that the province averaged 66,000 shots per day over the last week, which is “far beyond what we had planned for the month of April.”
So far, the province has administered more than 2.2 million doses.
Over the weekend, Quebec will also encourage more people who are 55 and older to get their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at walk-in clinics.
“I asked the network to make targeted interventions in certain neighbourhoods,” Dubé wrote on Twitter.
Dubé says trucks will be roaming around different parts of Montreal, including the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood and the West Island, to blast the message — which will also be broadcast in different languages.
Over the course of the health crisis, there have been 334,071 infections while the death toll now stands at 10,785. Recoveries, meanwhile, have surpassed 309,000.
— With files from The Canadian Press