Coronavirus Canada Updates: Quebec adds 1,053 new covid cases, 38 deaths as province expected to ease some rules

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: Alberta says Moderna, Pfizer vaccines 'interchangeable' amid shipment delay
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Quebec is reporting 1,053 new cases and 38 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus Tuesday as the province looks to loosen some restrictions designed to hamper the spread of COVID-19.

Health authorities say seven of those deaths occurred in the past 24 hours while the others were added retroactively.

The death toll, which remains the highest in Canada, has reached 9,862 after two fatalities previously attributed to the virus were withdrawn from the list following an investigation.

Meanwhile, the caseload now stands at 264,526 while recoveries have topped 241,000.

Hospitalizations related to the virus dropped by 34 to 1,110. Of those patients, 178 are in intensive care, a decrease of five compared to the previous day.

When it comes to screening, the province’s latest data shows 20,579 tests were administered Sunday. More than 5.9 million tests have been given over the course of the pandemic.

As the vaccination campaign continues to slow due to delayed shipments, 356 doses were given Monday. So far, the province has provided 240,830 vaccines.

With the daily number of new cases starting to drop, Quebec Premier François Legault is also expected to ease some restrictions Tuesday.

The latest set of lockdown measures are in place until Feb. 8, including a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. with few exceptions.

Last week, Legault tempered expectations by saying he believes most of the province’s rules will remain in effect due to a high number of hospitalizations. On the weekend, he said he hopes to ease restrictions on retail stores and other businesses.

Several media outlets are reporting Tuesday that non-essential businesses closed since Christmas Day will be allowed to reopen — but with limited access.

The premier’s 5 p.m. news conference comes as Quebec reported fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Monday for the first time since last November.

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