Quebec’s health ministry reported 1,367 new cases of COVID-19 recorded over the past 24 hours on Saturday. The province’s seven-day average, which has been dropping steadily since it peaked at a high of 2,685 cases on Jan. 9, now stands at 1,312 cases a day.
On Saturday morning, Premier François Legault announced on Facebook he is hoping to ease restrictions on store closings as of Feb. 8, if conditions allow. He has said previously that he anticipates extending the provincial curfew past its tentative end date of Feb. 8 in certain regions. Government officials have said the drop in daily cases and hospitalizations are an indication the curfew that came into effect on Jan. 9 is working.
To date a total of 261,360 people have been infected in the province.
The ministry also reported 46 more deaths, for a total of 9,736. Of those, 14 occurred in the last 24 hours. Another 23 happened between Jan. 23 and Jan. 28, and nine of the deaths were from before Jan. 23.
The total number of hospitalizations dropped by 54, to a current total of 1,163. Of those, 201 are in intensive care, a drop of eight. Hospitalizations have been dropping steadily since Jan. 14, when they peaked at 1,523 cases. Before that, they had been rising rapidly in early September.
The province estimates its maximum capacity to house COVID-19 patients in hospital at 2,117.