Quebec ends state of emergency for COVID-19 pandemic

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The Quebec government has officially put an end to the province’s state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 health crisis.

Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a statement Wednesday that while the virus is still present, the situation has significantly improved in recent weeks.

“This is an important milestone, a testament to the efforts that have been made in our collective fight against COVID-19,” he said.

In the spring, Dubé tabled a bill to lift the emergency health order as calls grew for the government to relinquish its extraordinary powers. The province first declared a state of emergency in March 2020, when the pandemic was declared. It was then renewed every 10 days — for more than 100 times over the course of the health crisis.

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While the health order is lifted and the majority of sanitary restrictions have been eased in recent months, masks are still mandatory on public transit and at some health-care institutions in the province.

The move comes as Quebec reported seven new deaths associated as pandemic-related hospitalizations fell Wednesday.

There were 1,139 people hospitalized with the disease, a net drop of 42. In the last day, 51 patients were admitted while 93 left.

Officials say intensive care unit cases fell by one for a total of 31.

The province also recorded 711 new infections. The daily tally isn’t an accurate representation of the current situation since only certain groups can access PCR testing.

Quebec administered 13,461 tests at government-run sites on Monday, the most recent day for which that information was given.

The roundup shows the results of 168 additional rapid tests were declared by the general public in the last day. This includes 139 positive results.

The province issued 6,365 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the last 24 hours, for more than 19.9 million shots to date.

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Meanwhile, 3,951 health-care workers were off the job for reasons such as isolation and awaiting test results.

Quebec has reported 1,066,906 official cases and 15,427 virus-related deaths since 2020.

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