Quebec reported COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed the 1,500 mark and 16 more people have died due to the virus as the province confirmed it is entering a seventh wave of the pandemic. 

The daily update from the Ministry of Health said the total number of deaths now stands at 15,646.

In the last 24 hours, 175 people were admitted to hospital and 138 were discharged, leading to an overall increase of 37 new hospitalizations, for a total of 1,534. About 41 per cent of the new hospitalizations are from patients who were admitted because of COVID-19, with the remainder testing positive after being hospitalized for another reason.  

ICU cases also rose slightly to 43 patients, an increase of three from the day before.

The province reported on Thursday there were 1,755 new infections from PCR testing, which is reserved for priority clientele. An additional 713 rapid antigen test results were logged with Quebec's public health department, including 655 results that came back positive.

The number of health-care workers absent for COVID-related reasons (including isolating after a positive test or waiting for test results) continues to get bigger. On Thursday, the province said 7,318 workers were off work, up from 7,041 on Wednesday.


Health-care workers administered 7,130 new vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, for a total of 20,078,507 shots given to Quebecers.

Vaccine coverage for fourth doses is at 15 per cent among the eligible population, while third dose coverage is at 55 per cent.