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COVID-19: Quebec announces 6,361 new cases and jump in hospitalizations

WATCH: Quebec Premier François Legault provides pandemic update

Quebec is reporting 6,361 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday over 1,300 more than the previous day as the Omicron variant takes over as the dominant strain in the province.

Quebec Premier François announced new measures during a COVID-19 news conference Wednesday evening, including reducing family bubbles starting on Boxing Day. 

Health officials said Tuesday they believe approximately eight out of 10 infections are linked to Omicron.

Pandemic-related hospitalizations are also increasing with 76 new patients admitted and 46 discharged for an increase of 30. Of the 445 patients, 88 people are in intensive care.

Read more: Quebec breaks record for highest daily provincial COVID-19 case count in Canada

The already fragile health-care network is under increasing pressure as cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.

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On Monday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced new measures in a bid to limit the spread of the virus.

He also said vaccination continues to be crucial for getting the province out of this situation.

On Tuesday, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbualt reiterated the threat presented by the highly contagious Omicron variant on the province’s hospital capacity and requested the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces to speed up the administration of third dose booster shots.

Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said the rising case counts in Quebec are deeply concerning and the federal government will work with the province.

Health officials have stated that a third dose provides 75 per cent protection against Omicron, up from roughly 30 per cent with two doses.

Read more: COVID-19: Montreal brings back state of emergency as Omicron variant spreads

Dubé said that on Tuesday a record-breaking number of Quebecers had booked an appointment for a shot with more than 315,000 people registering.

More than 73,000 doses were administered and of those, close to 64,000 shots were for third doses.

To date, the province has recorded  501,698 infections and 11,652 deaths, including two in the last 24 hours.

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— With a file from The Canadian Press

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