Quebec could be on the cusp of a fourth COVID-19 wave; Delta variant already here
MONTREAL -- Health professionals in Quebec are warning people to continue taking precautions when leaving the house as the COVID-19 pandemic isn't yet over.
Public health measures, such as wearing a mask, keeping a two-metre distance and washing hands, are still highly encouraged practices.
Wednesday, the province reported a 57-person jump in variant cases, bringing the total number to 8,512.
Most of those infections are due to the highly contagious Delta (B. 1.617) variant.
At the beginning of July, 77 people were recorded infected with Delta. As of July 28, that number has risen to 286 people, an increase of 209.
The Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant is still the most predominant in terms of total numbers, with 7,225 infections in Quebec -- up 188 since July 1.
The Beta (B.1.351) variant is up by 20 infections this month and the Gamma (P.1) rose by 38 people.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé acknowledges there has been a slight increase in infections lately.
"The Delta variant is already here," he tweeted, once again asking all eligible Quebecers to get their two doses of a vaccine to stop the virus in its tracks.
"We have enough vaccines for everyone," he said. "Take advantage of it."
Nevertheless, the province's infection rates have remained relatively steady, with the average number of cases over a seven-day period hovering at 101 as of July 23, according to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ).
The latest data show there are 864 active COVID-19 cases in the province with 61 people in hospital and 19 in ICU.
Quebec officials have not recorded any new deaths since July 22.
Two deaths were recorded that day; one was a person living in a private senior's residence (RPA) and the other was classified as "at home or unknown."