Quebec health officials have announced 158 new daily cases of COVID-19, the most since June 19.
It’s now the third straight day that it has recorded over 140 cases, and the seventh straight day it has surpassed 100.
Before the recent stretch, it had not recorded at least 140 cases since June 25. Between June 26 and July 11, it stayed below 100 daily cases except on two occasions.
The increase in cases comes as Quebec continues to process tests after officials on July 11, asked anyone who’s been to a Montreal bar since Canada Day to get tested for COVID-19. As of Wednesday evening, at least 45 cases have been linked to 14 venues. Montreal public health officials have yet to provide updated statistics.
On Friday, Premier François Legault said that Quebec’s bars will remain open, after they were given the green light on June 25.
“The problem isn’t in bars, it’s in private gatherings,” Legault said, noting that private parties and barbecues are a bigger cause of concern. Under Quebec rules, both indoor and outdoor gathering must be limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its outputs from two days prior. In its latest 24-hour stretch, the province completed 14,448 tests for COVID-19, which is its highest output since May 27, and above its goal of 14,000.
On Saturday, the province also announced seven fatalities. Two of them occurred in its latest 24-hour stretch, while the other five occurred before July 10, increasing the death toll to 5,654.
Among the province’s 57,300 total cases throughout the pandemic are 50,027 people who have recovered, up by 88 since Friday. Of the 1,619 active cases that remain, there are 248 people in hospital (down by 12), which includes 15 in intensive care (down by one)
Montreal remains the epicentre with 27,951 total cases, up by 88 since Friday. But the spread of COVID-19 continues to gain pace in other parts of the province, in some cases in connection to bars and parties. The Montérégie region has 8,343 cases (up by 32), Lanaudière has 4,355 (up by 10), Laurentides region has 3,666 (up by 15), and Laval has 5,899 (up by four).
On Saturday, Quebec also became the first province in Canada to require mask-wearing in all indoor public places.