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Quebec adds almost 1,100 new COVID-19 cases, 15 more deaths

Click to play video: 'Quebec-Ontario border closed' Quebec-Ontario border closed
Quebec restricts access to the province along its Ontario border. Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines has the story – Apr 19, 2021

Quebec is reporting 1,092 new cases and 15 additional deaths, including two in the past 24 hours, Monday linked to the third wave of COVID-19.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says that restrictions seem to have put a brake on the province’s recent surge of infections.

“This is encouraging, but we must not relax our efforts if we are to continue to control the virus,” he wrote on Twitter.

Hospitalizations, meanwhile, rose by three to 686. This includes eight more patients in intensive care units for a total of 183.

The vaccination campaign saw another 40,433 jabs given Sunday. So far, there have been more than 2.3 million doses administered in the province.

READ MORE: Checkpoints go up at Quebec-Ontario border

Quebec is expected to receive more than 230,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week, while 18,960 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are “still in transit,” according to authorities.

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When it comes to screening, authorities say 26,132 tests were given Saturday, the latest day for which that information is available.

The caseload stands at 338,044 while the number of pandemic-related deaths has reached 10,816. Authorities say one death has also been withdrawn from the total after an investigation found it wasn’t due to the new coronavirus.

Recoveries, meanwhile, have surpassed 314,000.

The latest numbers come as new restrictions come into effect in Quebec. Travel is now limited to and from neighbouring Ontario, which has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, to limit the spread of virus variants.

Click to play video: 'Quebec mulling use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those younger than 55' Quebec mulling use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those younger than 55
Quebec mulling use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those younger than 55 – Apr 19, 2021

Quebec set to expand AstraZeneca access

Quebec’s director of public health says the province will also lower the age of eligibility for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

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Dr. Horacio Arruda says a recommendation from Quebec’s immunization committee is expected in the coming hours. It could be put into effect later this week.

“From what we suspect, there’s going to be a lowering of age like other provinces, but is it going to be 50, 45, 40? I cannot tell you before I receive the advice,” Arruda said.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available to anyone between the ages of 55 and 79 at walk-in clinics and by appointment in the province.

Last month, Quebec hit pause on administering that brand of vaccine to anyone younger than 55 amid guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots.

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Curfew violations result in nearly 1,000 tickets

Quebec’s Public Security Ministry reported that 956 tickets were handed out last week for alleged curfew violations.

Nearly half of those fines were given in Montreal, where police officers issued 402 tickets for non-compliance with the health order from April 12 to 18.

The city was the scene of several protests against the measure last week after the government rolled back curfew to 8 p.m. in Montreal and Laval.

Police officers also visited 753 homes to ensure Quebecers are abiding by quarantine rules. The ministry says 69 tickets were given.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Montreal protesters denounce 8 p.m. curfew as unscientific, harmful to vulnerable' COVID-19: Montreal protesters denounce 8 p.m. curfew as unscientific, harmful to vulnerable
COVID-19: Montreal protesters denounce 8 p.m. curfew as unscientific, harmful to vulnerable – Apr 18, 2021

With files from Global News’ Dan Spector and The Canadian Press

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