Quebec reported a record number of daily COVID-19 infections for the third consecutive day Thursday, ahead of a province wide lockdown that will close non-essential businesses until at least Jan. 11.
Health authorities reported 2,349 new infections and 46 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, 13 of which occurred in the past 24 hours. The province said hospitalizations dropped by 15, to 1,052, and 146 people were in intensive care, a rise of four.
On Christmas Day, all businesses deemed “non-essential” by the government will be forced to close across the province in an effort to reduce transmission and alleviate pressure on the health-care system. Schools closed on Dec. 17 and won’t reopen until at least Monday, Jan. 11.
For most of the province, in-person dining, bars, gyms and entertainment venues have been closed since October.
On Wednesday, the Montreal Children’s Hospital said it was accepting adult patients in its intensive care unit to free up space at other hospitals dealing with COVID-19. The hospital said it was caring for 11 adult post-op patients and said other adults had been admitted to its pediatric intensive care unit.
Dr. Robert Barnes, associate director of professional services at the Children’s, said the hospital is happy to help. “Our adult ? colleagues are running full tilt, and relocating staff significantly, to care for so many sick adults,” he said in a statement.
“The pandemic is not letting up, just like during the first wave in the spring, we at the Children’s want to contribute to the cause as best we can.”
Quebec said it administered 3,942 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Wednesday. The province has reported a total of 185,872 COVID-19 infections and 7,913 deaths linked to the virus.