Pressure continues to mount on Quebec’s health-care network, as pandemic-related hospitalizations have jumped significantly again.
On Monday, Quebec reported an increase of 118 COVID-19 patients over the previous day and 26 more deaths attributable to the virus.
Health officials said 351 new patients were admitted and 233 discharged for a total of 2,554 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Of those, 248 are in intensive care for a decrease of eight over the last day.
People who are not vaccinated are 7.5 times more at risk of being hospitalized than people who are adequately vaccinated, according to the latest health ministry data.
Meanwhile, five more health regions were added to the highest level of service reduction, known as Level 4, Health Minister Christian Dubé said in an interview with 98.5 FM, confirming a report from Radio-Canada. The five regions all surrounded Montreal and included the Laurentians and Laval, Quebec’s third-largest city.
In the regions at Level 4, hospitals are conducting between 20 and 50 per cent of their normal medical procedures to make room for COVID-19 patients, Dubé said. Health officials said last week that under Level 4, elective surgeries and serious procedures that should be conducted within a several-month spectrum, such as cardiac and cancer-related surgeries, are postponed.
The situation in the province’s long-term care homes is also deteriorating. Health officials said 80 residents have died during the current wave of the pandemic, adding that 19 deaths occurred between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9. At least 30 long-term care homes, known in Quebec as CHSLDs, have 25 per cent of their residents infected.
The vaccination campaign continues, with the Canadian Armed Forces lending a hand to speed up the administration of third dose booster shots.
As of Monday, Quebecers 40 and up can now book an appointment for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In the last 24 hours 62,722 shots were administered falling short of the government’s goal of 100,000 injections daily.
To date, 84.9 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Since the start of the pandemic, the province has recorded 749,866 infections including 10, 573 in the last 24 hours and 631,650 recoveries.
The death toll in the province now stands at 11,966.
— With files from The Canadian Press’ Pierre Saint-Arnaud and Sidhartha Banerjee