MONTREAL -- The situation is 'serious' in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, officials say, after a dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus cases in this region.

Speaking from the region at a news conference Monday afternoon, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said he expects the situation will worsen in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean before improving.

In his words, the minister said he wanted to send a 'very, very clear message'. 

There were as many as 634 new cases in one week, according to the minister responsible for the region, Andrée Laforest. There are currently 817 active cases.

The region is also dealing with 73 active outbreaks and has 27 environments under surveillance.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2020.