MONTREAL -- A serological study by Hema-Quebec and the province’s public health institute has revealed that an estimated 2.23 per cent of Quebec’s adult population has contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

The study – the results of which were made public on Wednesday – was undertaken in order to better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the province.

Blood samples were analyzed for 7,691 people aged between 18 and 69 who donated blood between May 25 and July 9. Antibodies were detected among 173 donors. 

The study reveals that an estimated 124,880 people within that age group contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic – which is more than two times the numbers reported through daily testing efforts that began in March.

As of Tuesday, through daily testing, Quebec health officials have been able to confirm 59,845 positive COVID-19 results. 

The regions most impacted by COVID-19 are Montreal and Laval, at 3.05 per cent. The study also reveals an impact of 2.96 per cent in the Mauricie-Centre-du Quebec region – despite test results suggesting the area was three times less affected than the Montreal and Laval regions.

For other Quebec regions, the percentage is about 1.29, according to the study. 

In a press briefing on Monday, the province’s Public Health Director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, predicted the numbers would be in line with the results revealed Wednesday. 

"The Ontario numbers are about one point something to three per cent, and we expect about the same numbers in Quebec,” he said at the time. 

Of the 124,880 estimated cases, 37,000 are said to be among people aged 20 to 69.