Quebec's hospitals are treating 443 new patients with COVID-19 infections, bringing total occupancy to 2,994 -- just shy of stark predictions made last week by the province's public health institute (INESSS).

Intensive care cases also rose after 44 people were admitted, a total of 272 patients.

The province also recorded another rise in deaths: 45 people were reported dead due to the virus, bringing that total to 12,125.

Quebec logged 8,793 new cases among select high-risk groups -- the only people allowed to be PCR tested after new regulations rolled out earlier in the month.

That number does not reflect cases in the general population, who must rely on rapid tests or assume they are sick if they have COVID-19-like symptoms. 

There are 1,443 known active outbreaks and 93,239 recorded active infections. 

Thursday's update was based on 43,357 COVID-19 tests, resulting in a positivity rate of 15.9 per cent.

That's slightly down from Wednesday's rate of 16.6 per cent, but still higher than the five per cent threshold that health authorities considered alarming in previous waves.  


Health care workers administered 111,395 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, 103,965 of which were booster shots. 

Of the eligible population aged five and up, 90 per cent have gotten at least one dose, 82 per cent have gotten two and 28 per cent have gotten three. 

People who get infected with COVID-19 are 6.9 times more likely to end up in hospital if they aren't vaccinated. 

While unvaccinated people make up about 13 per cent of the population, they account for 28 per cent of those in hospital and 45 per cent of those in the ICU.