Quebec health authorities reported 905 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 98,226.
Twelve more people have also died due to the disease, including four from the past 24 hours, six from between Oct. 16 and 21 and two from an unknown date, for a total of 6,106.
The City of Montreal reported the highest number of new cases across Quebec, with 237 (total 40,470), followed by Monteregie, with 137 (total 14,361), and Quebec City, with 117 (total 7,892).
During a news conference on Friday, Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Safety and Minister responsible for Quebec City, Genevieve Guilbault, said the COVID-19 situation in the province’s capital are worrisome.
“Today, I’ll be extremely frank and direct with you, if we don’t get our things in order quickly, if we don’t change things dramatically in the region of Quebec and the South Shore, it’s possible that citizens might not be able to receive care in certain circumstances,” Guilbault said. “This is the wall we will hit unless we stop, rapidly, the second wave.”
She said people have been slacking on following public health measures lately and the impact can be seen in the number of cases and hospitalizations in the region. The increase in hospitalizations has caused some facilities in the region to have to limit some of their services as they are forced to redirect there staff towards caring for COVID-19 patients.
“Imagine a cancer diagnosis — possibly your own — might be postponed because there won’t be any more availability of staff to do those things,” Guilbault added. “This is brutal, this is harsh, this is unthinkable to utter these words […] As long as the number of cases remains high, as long as the staffmembers in our health system need to focus on COVID, then there’s a risk.”
Hospitalizations in the province decreased by 13 from Thursday to Friday and there are now 540 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals. Of them, 99 are in the intensive care ward, which is two less than the number reported on Thursday.
The latest data in two reports from the province’s health and social service institute shows that the COVID-19 situation in the province is stable, and that projections suggest hospital capacities will not be exceeded over the next four weeks.
“Even though the latest data from INESSS is reassuring, I’d like to remind Quebecers that the situation remains fragile and we must not, in any case, reduce our efforts,” said Health Minister Christian Dube in a news release on Friday. “This situation proves that the measures put in place up until now are bearing fruit, but we still must act to avoid overcrowding our hospitals and to protect our professionals.”
The report also highlighted an increase in cases of COVID-19 in regions outside of Montreal and Quebec City.
As of Friday, 82,792 people are confirmed recovered from COVID-19 in the province, which is an increase of 759 from the number reported 24 hours earlier.
Quebec reported that it completed analyses of 27,183 COVID-19 samples on Oct. 21 (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).