Quebec is reporting 9,397 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and six more deaths.
The daily COVID-19 total is another new record for the province.
Pandemic hospitalizations jumped again with 92 new patients admitted and 64 discharged for an increase of 28 compared to the previous day.
Of the 473 people in hospital, 91 are in intensive care.
On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault reiterated pleas for people who are unvaccinated to get vaccinated.
He said while they represent less than 10 per cent of the population, they make up 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“You’re putting yourself at risk by being unvaccinated and putting our hospitals at risk,” Legault said during his pandemic update.
The latest data published by Quebec’s health ministry shows that people who are not vaccinated or less than 14 days removed from a first dose of a vaccine are 13.6 more times at risk of being hospitalized from the virus, than people who are fully vaccinated.
To date, 84.3 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The exponential growth in cases and growing hospitalizations prompted the Quebec government to announce on Wednesday additional restrictions on private gatherings.
Starting on Dec. 26, a limit of six people or two family bubbles will be allowed to gather indoors. The same rule will apply per table in restaurants.
New measures in long-term care, nursing homes
New rules are also being put in place for long-term care facilities and private nursing homes, known as RPAs.
Rather than presenting a negative COVID-19 test dating back less than 72 hours, visitors will be required to show their vaccine passports.
Between today and Saturday (Christmas Day), only two people at a time will be able to visit loved ones in a nursing home, for a maximum of four per day. It will fall to only two visitors per day starting on Sunday (Boxing Day).
In long-term care homes, only one visitor at a time will be allowed for a maximum of two per day.
Health officials said the new measures are being put in place to protect people who are more vulnerable.
Legault said Wednesday 70 per cent of people in hospital for COVID are over the age of 60.
To date, Quebec has recorded 511,095 infections, 457,630 recoveries and 11,658 deaths.
There are currently 41,807 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.