Montreal

Hospitalizations rose by 38 per cent while Quebec wasn't publishing daily COVID-19 data

Since the last government update on daily COVID-19 data on Dec. 22, there has been a rise of 169 hospitalizations in Quebec. 

Gatherings limited to 6 indoors as of Monday

People lineup at a COVID-19 testing site in Montreal earlier this month, as cases began to rise once again. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Since the last government update on daily COVID-19 data on Dec. 22, there has been a rise of 169 hospitalizations in Quebec. 

The increase is steeper than the provincial Health Ministry originally posted earlier today, which didn't take into account new admissions, only discharges. 

There are 614 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, 109 of which are in intensive care.

According to data tables published on the province's public health institute, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), there were more than 10,000 new cases of the virus reported on both Dec. 22 and 23 — the number represents a new threshold for daily cases in Quebec.

On Monday, gathering restrictions announced by Premier François Legault come into effect. Indoor gatherings must now be limited to six people or two households. 

Over the Christmas period, people were still allowed to be in groups of up to 10 people inside, though public health officials strongly recommended against it. 

It's still unclear what effect on cases or hospitalizations holiday gatherings will have had. 

Health Minister Christian Dubé posted about the data on Twitter Monday. 

"Hospital entries are on the rise," he wrote. "We must limit contacts [between people]."

Dubé will be providing an update on the pandemic situation in the province on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Capacity in hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients is slightly higher than last week, at 825, according to the latest dashboard of data published by the Health Ministry on Twitter.

Hospital officials said they are cutting down on non-urgent procedures and activities, delaying up to 50 per cent of surgeries, in order to free up staff to help out with COVID patients. 

Quebecers aged 60 and over can now book their appointment for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, or can visit a no-appointment vaccination clinic, such as the one at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

now