COVID-19: Quebec announces 68 new deaths, total hospitalizations at more than 3,000

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Quebec is reporting an overall total of 3,085 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday, and 68 more deaths attributed to the virus.

Health authorities said pandemic hospitalizations increased by 91 compared to the previous day, with 442 new patients admitted and 351 discharged. Of the 3,085 patients, 275 are being treated in intensive care units.

The increase comes just a day after Quebec Premier François Legault announced the lifting of the province’s controversial overnight curfew, as well as the return to in-person classes in elementary schools and high schools on Monday.

Read more: Quebec set to end COVID-19 curfew, Legault believes province close to hospitalization peak

The premier said the move was possible seeing as the number of COVID-19 infections linked to the fifth wave appears to have peaked, while related hospitalizations could peak in the next few days.

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Legault also announced the expansion, in the coming weeks, of the province’s vaccine passport to include big box retail stores.

In the last 24 hours, 108,768 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the province.

Read more: How would Quebec’s tax on the unvaccinated affect vulnerable communities?

As of Friday, anyone in the province aged 18 and over can book an appointment to receive a third dose booster shot.

So far, 85 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose.

Since the start of the health crisis, the province has recorded 783,102 COVID-19 infections including 7,382 in the last day. The number of recoveries stands at 689,848 bringing the the number of active cases to 81,061.

Health authorities, however, continue to emphasize that due to screening being limited to priority groups such as health workers, case numbers do not accurately reflect the situation on the ground.

Quebec’s death toll remains the highest in the country at 12,193.

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