Quebec health minister ‘expected an increase’ as province back above 100 new COVID-19 cases

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube responds to a question during a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday June 15, 2021. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Quebec reported 126 new COVID-19 cases and three additional pandemic-related deaths attributable Wednesday.

The last time the province reported more than 100 new daily infections was 127 on June 23. Health Minister Christian Dubé also pointed out that there is also a slight uptick in the positivity rate.

“We expected an increase with the latest easing (of measures),” he wrote on social media.

“However, it shows that the pandemic is not behind us and that the virus is still circulating. We must remain cautious and receive two doses of the vaccine.”

Since the last report, another 108,607 doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine were given as part of the immunization rollout. So far, more than 8.2 million shots have been doled out.

READ MORE: Canada’s COVID-19 death toll could be thousands higher than official count: report

The majority of shipments that were expected this week have arrived, but health officials say an additional 880,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine are still on the way.

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The number of hospitalizations linked to the health crisis fell again. There are five fewer patients for a total of 117.

Of them, there are 35 Quebecers in intensive care units, a rise of four from the previous day.

When it comes to screening, the latest information available shows 19,611 tests were administered Monday.

The province’s caseload now stands at 374,857, while the death toll has reached 11,210.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 362,000 recoveries have been recorded.

Public sector workers will head back to offices in fall

The Quebec government also announced that public sector workers will begin gradually returning to their offices in September.

Treasury Board chair Sonia LeBel told reporters Wednesday the goal is to have about 50 per cent of employees working in person three or four days a week in government offices by Oct. 7.

LeBel says all government employees should be back in offices by Nov. 15, working under a hybrid model that would allow them to spend one or two days a week working remotely.

Labour Minister Jean Boulet said the province is recommending that private sector employers develop similar plans to return to offices this fall.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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