COVID-19 infections soar with close to 13K daily cases reported in Quebec

Quebec is reporting 12,833 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread.

Since the start of the pandemic, the province has recorded 559,270 infections, 477,854 recoveries and 11,692 deaths, including 15 in the last 24 hours.

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The number of active cases is 69,724.

Health authorities, however, have warned that the true number of infections could be higher as screening centres are overwhelmed and rapid testing kits being used at home could mean some cases are not being reported.

Pandemic-related hospitalizations increased by 88 to 702. Of those patients, 115 are in intensive care, for an increase of six over the previous day.

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In a Tweet on Monday, Quebec Premier François Legault admitted hospitalizations were increasing rapidly.

“Fortunately, the increase in intensive care isn’t as big,” he wrote in French.

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On Monday, third-dose booster shots became available for Quebecers aged 60 and over.

Legault was among hundreds at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal who received a shot.

Legault urged Quebecers to get their vaccines as soon as they become eligible, saying that a third dose increases protection against the Omicron variant from 30 to 75 per cent.

He also reminded people of the importance of reducing contacts.

“Of course you have to be careful in the next few weeks, including for the new year,” Legault said. “We have to protect our hospitals.”

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is expected to provide an update on the situation Tuesday at 1 p.m.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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