MONTREAL -- COVID-19 hospitalizations in Quebec dropped by 60 on Friday, and ICU numbers decreased by 20.

Premier Francois Legault spoke about the levelling off of hospitalizations on Thursday, but said the hospital system is still very fragile, and it's too soon to ease public health rules.

"Finally we're seeing a decrease in the overall number of hospitalizations," he said. "Still, we're at the worst point so far in the pandemic."

The total number of hospitalizations is now 3,351 with 346 patients checking in for care and 406 being discharged. Of the new patients, 19 were under five years old when checking in and ineligible for a vaccine dose, 77 were unvaccinated or received a dose of vaccine less than two weeks prior, 133 received two doses of vaccine, 104 received three doses and 13 received one dose more than two weeks prior.

Nineteen patients were transferred to or admitted into ICU wards, which now are caring for a total of 265 patients. Of the new ICU patients, six were unvaccinated, nine were double-vaccinated and four received a third booster shot before being admitted.

The health ministry says unvaccinated people are 5.7 times more likely to require hospitalizations and 12.2 times more likely to wind up in an ICU.

This is based on 4,383,646 Quebecers being double-vaccinated, 2,140,959 have received a third booster dose, and 1,073,357 are unvaccinated.


Quebec continues to report high numbers of deaths due to the novel coronavirus with 59 deaths added on Friday. 

Since the pandemic began, 12,698 people have died due to the disease.


The province also reported 5,995 more infections, though that number is lower than the real number of infections, as screening centres are reserved for priority clientele. 

Since the pandemic began, the province has reported 824,942 COVID-19 cases, including 761,215 recoveries. 

The Quebec Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) is monitoring 51,029 active cases, 1,030 fewer than 24 hours ago, and the Minister of Health is watching 1,611 active outbreaks, 21 fewer.


Quebec health-care professionals administered 113,829 more COVID-19 vaccines, including 108,305 in the past 24 hours. 

Since the vaccination campaign began, 16,915,403 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province, and 264,806 Quebecers got their jab out of province.

The province says 37 per cent of the eligible population has received a booster shot.