Quebec is prioritizing long-term care facilities in its vaccine rollout, despite the strict handling requirements of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Quebec is reporting 1,741 new cases and 39 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus Tuesday as the province is set to announce additional restrictions.
The caseload and death toll — which remain the highest in the coxuntry — have reached 167,276 and 7,571, respectively. Recoveries have surpassed 142,000.
Hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 also spiked again. The number of patients in hospital stands at 959, an increase of 69 from the previous day. Of them, three more people are intensive care for a total of 125.
“The number of hospitalizations is very worrying and some hospitals have reached their maximum capacity,” Health Minister Christian Dubé wrote on Twitter.
The province, which rolled out its vaccination campaign Monday, has given 298 doses of the coronavirus vaccine so far. The vaccine is being given to residents and health-care employees at two long-term care homes in Quebec City and Montreal.
When it comes to screening, the latest information shows 24,200 tests were given Sunday while more than 4.3 million have been administered during the pandemic.
Premier François Legault is set to announce new restrictions Tuesday evening. He hinted that Quebec will likely follow Germany’s footsteps after the country announced over the weekend that most stores will shutter to combat the spread of the virus.
A partial lockdown is in place in a large swath of the province, which includes the closure of dining rooms, gyms, cinemas and museums until at least Jan.11. A ban on most gatherings — both indoor and outdoor — is also in place.
However, retail stores, malls and schools have mostly been spared from fall closures.
Legault said in an interview Monday that the holidays are an opportunity to impose more measures since schools and many sectors shut down during that time.