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Quebec reports another record 3,300 hospitalizations, health authority says it may move to Level 5

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 hospitalizations projected to surge as Omicron spreads ‘faster and further’' COVID-19 hospitalizations projected to surge as Omicron spreads ‘faster and further’
WATCH: New federal modelling is projecting a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the next few weeks, adding to the strain on the health-care system. – Jan 14, 2022

Quebec reported a jump of 105 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours for a record total of 3,300 people being treated for the disease caused by COVID-19 on Sunday.

The province also announced 21 more deaths linked to the virus, and 96 on Saturday.

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Health data shows seven more people were admitted to intensive care for a total of 282 ICU patients.

Another 5,946 cases of COVID-19 were reported, though officials have warned the real number is much higher because PCR testing is restricted to high-risk priority groups.

Sunday’s testing positivity rate came back at 13.1 per cent; 39,806 PCR COVID-19 tests were administered. There are currently 1,590 active outbreaks in the province.

Data shows 81,564 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours, including 71,724 third doses.

READ MORE: Omicron FAQ: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 variant

Earlier this week health officials suggested that COVID-19 cases in the province appeared to have peaked or would soon peak, and that hospitalizations could follow suit in the coming days.

But this weekend the number of patients entering hospital has shown no sign of slowing. A local health authority representing the east of Montreal said Saturday that it may have to move beyond the current highest level of service reduction, known as Level 4.

Valerie Lafleur, a spokesperson with the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Ile-de-Montreal, said 28 per cent of the total available hospital beds in the region were occupied by COVID-19 patients. She said the region would move to Level 5 if that number hits 30 per cent.

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Health authorities 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, could be postponed.

Hospitals at that level are conducting between 20 and 50 per cent of their normal medical procedures to make room for COVID-19 patients.

Officials have not specified which services would be further reduced at Level 5.

Sunday marks the last night of the province-wide curfew and the last Sunday that non-essential stores must stay closed. In-person learning is set to resume Monday for elementary and high school students across the province.

–  with files from The Canadian Press

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