Ontario, Quebec see drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations as re-opening nears

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Canada’s most populous provinces continued to report declining hospitalizations related to COVID-19 over the weekend as public health restrictions were scheduled to start easing in both Ontario and Quebec as of Monday.

Ontario reported 3,019 patients in hospital on Sunday, down by 420 from the day before, although not all health-care facilities share data on weekends.

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It marks the fourth straight day of declining hospitalizations in the province, where the number of people allowed to attend social gatherings is set to increase Monday to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors until another planned increase on Feb. 21.

In Quebec, the Health Department says 2,895 people were in hospital Sunday, a decrease of 80 from the day before.

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The easing of some restrictions in Quebec is set to include the reopening of restaurant dining rooms, with certain limits, more than a month after they were closed in response to surging cases of the virus’s Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, horns blared across downtown Ottawa as protesters settled in for their second full day in the capital demanding the federal Liberal government end vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions.

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On the East Coast, the Nova Scotia government says 92 people were in hospital due to COVID-19 on Sunday, an increase of five from the day before.

New Brunswick’s COVID-19 dashboard showed hospitalizations due to the illness had also ticked up by five to 164, with 13 people in intensive care.

On the Prairies, Saskatchewan reported 349 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 39 in intensive care.

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Some provinces and territories don’t provide COVID-19 data on weekends or hadn’t yet updated their case numbers and hospitalizations on Sunday.

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