COVID-19: Records keep falling

New infection records continued to be broken across Canada on Thursday as provinces prepared to tighten measures to deal with the Omicron variant.

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In particular, the virus continued its exponential spread in Quebec, reaching a new record with 14,188 cases, for a positivity rate of 28%. Nine deaths have also been added to the province’s toll.

In parallel, the province of Belle on Thursday counted 939 hospitalized patients with the virus (+135), including 138 in intensive care (+16). Quebec hospitals treated 237 patients in just 48 hours and could count as many as 2,000 by mid-January, including 375 in intensive care, according to forecasts by the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Human Services.

Given these findings, the government of François Legault was to announce new measures during a press conference at 5 pm, including the imposition of a curfew.

For its part, Ontario also broke a new record by registering 13,807 cases and eight deaths in its accumulated. The province also added 239 hospitalizations to its data, for a total of 965 beds occupied by infected patients, including 200 in intensive care.

The medical director of health for the country’s most populous province was due to provide an update on the pandemic in the afternoon.

Another province to break its own record for the second day in a row, Manitoba has reported 1,123 cases and three deaths, marking the province’s first four-figure incursion.

The country’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, also broke a record with 169 cases.

Also in the Maritime Islands, Nova Scotia (511 cases) announced that the vaccination campaign for the third dose will begin for all adults over 30 years of age starting Monday. Newfoundland and Labrador, meanwhile, have reported 349 infections.

Additionally, Saskatchewan (589 cases, 4 deaths) has become the first province to do the same in the United States by reducing isolation time to just five days for those infected, but asymptomatic, if vaccinated. The province is following the new recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released on December 27.

The province also recommends that people who test positive on a rapid test no longer seek confirmation with a PCR test. “If you test positive, you should assume you have COVID and isolate yourself,” said Prime Minister Scott Moe, who wants to ease the strain on his province’s testing system.

Ontario: 729,648 cases (10,179 deaths)

Quebec: 586,607 cases (11,711 deaths)

Alberta: 357,623 cases (3,310 deaths)

British Columbia: 246,671 cases (2,419 deaths)

Saskatchewan: 84,446 cases (955 deaths)

Manitoba: 78,606 cases (1,387 deaths)

Nova Scotia: 17,127 cases (111 deaths)

New Brunswick: 13,018 cases (157 deaths)

Newfoundland and Labrador: 3,724 cases (18 deaths)

Northwest Territories: 2,090 cases (12 deaths)

Yukon: 1,729 cases (14 deaths)

Prince Edward Island: 1,191 cases

Nunavut: 747 cases (4 deaths)

Canadian returnees: 13 cases

Total: approximately 2,132,484 cases (30,268 deaths)


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