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COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Thursday

Quebec is reporting a substantial one-day spike in coronavirus infections with nearly 1,271 confirmed cases, a day after the premier imposed restrictions on Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau.  Here's what you need to know.

Hospitalizations remain below 500 despite uptick in cases

Residents in Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau are forced to order food to go, as restaurant dining rooms are closing until at least April 12. Hairdressers, gyms and other non-essential businesses will also be closed. (Jean-Claude Taliana)
  • Quebec reported 1,271 new cases on Wednesday and nine new deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 312,362 confirmed cases and 10,676 people have died.
  • There are 487 people in hospital (an increase of two), including 119 in intensive care (a decrease of one).
  • 41,406 doses of vaccine were administered in the last 24 hours for a total of 1,391,649 since Dec. 14. 

Quebec is reporting a substantial one-day spike in coronavirus infections with nearly 1,271 confirmed cases, a day after the premier imposed restrictions on Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau. 

The last time more than 1,200 cases were recorded in a single day was on Feb. 6. 

A gym in Quebec City is now linked to more than 140 cases of COVID-19 and 21 workplace outbreaks.

Schools, restaurant dining rooms, gyms, hairdressers, and other non-essential businesses in those cities will close by 8 p.m. tonight and remain closed until at least April 12.

"We're better off making a decision that's imperfect more quickly than to wait too long and watch the situation get worse in hospitals," Premier François Legault said Wednesday, as he announced the new restrictions. 

So far, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have remained below 500, despite the recent increase in cases.

Meanwhile, as the Lower Saint-Lawrence heads back into the red zone, health officials in the region are asking people to help curb the spread of the virus, especially as the majority of new cases are of the more contagious coronavirus variants. 

Regional Public Health Director Dr. Sylvain Leduc said in less than two weeks, the number of new daily cases  has jumped from fewer than five to several dozen. 

The new restrictions will apply to the whole region, Leduc said, despite the fact that the hardest-hit area is Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup, which has some of the highest infection rates in the province. 

The region reported 59 new cases on Thursday, which is nearly another record, second only to when it surpassed 60 cases last week, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.

Leduc is urging people to stay home over the Easter weekend.  "Even if we're fed up — and we're all fed up — we have to offer up a new effort," he said. 

Top COVID-19 stories today

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • Fever. 
  • New or worsening cough. 
  • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea).  

If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 1‑877‑644‑4545 to schedule an appointment at a screening clinic.  

To reserve an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go on the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.

Quebec government reminders for preventing the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible. Wearing a mask is mandatory in enclosed public spaces across the province.
  • Stay at least two metres away from other people as much as possible. 
  • Self-isolate for 14 days after returning from a stay outside the country.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here

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