Quebec reports 499 new cases of COVID-19 after data adjustment
People wear face masks as they shop at a market in Montreal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. The Quebec government has introduced fines for individuals caught not wearing face masks or coverings in indoor public spaces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MONTREAL -- Quebec health authorities reported an additional 499 cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday -- 251 of which were recorded over the past 24 hours.
The other 244 cases were added to previous days over the past week. These adjustments show that Quebec recorded more than 300 cases of the disease on each day of Sept. 12, 13 and 14 -- a total of 310 cases, 372 cases and 382 cases, respectively.
Including Wednesday's total of 303 new cases, Quebec reported more than 300 new cases of COVID-19 over a 24-hour period for four days in a row this week.
The total number of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic now stands at 66,356.
Quebec is also reporting three more deaths from the disease, bringing the provincial toll to 5,791. Two of those deaths occurred over the past 24 hours.
Provincial health officials are warning Quebec regions in the "early warning" stage on its new regional alert system may be headed towards the "moderate alert" stage in the coming days -- but they say there's hope.
"You still have the power to ensure that your region doesn't turn to orange," Health Minister Christian Dube said at a press conference on Thursday. "This is not the time to take advantage of the weekend to have parties and gatherings without respecting the measures."
As of Thursday, the regions labelled "early warning" in Quebec are Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec City, the Eastern Townships, Montreal, Outaouais, Chaudiere-Appalaches, Laval and Monteregie.
Quebec's director of public health Dr. Horacio Arruda said the regions that may be headed towards the "moderate alert" stage are Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec City and Montreal, but that it's still too early to say.
"Cold shower on the heat and it goes back down," Arruda said.
Dube said Quebecers won't have to cancel their holiday celebrations, but they will have to adjust them.
"We need to have small numbers, we need to respect distancing," he said.
Dube said the province's daily average stands at about 300 cases as of Thursday, which translates to about 30 cases per million. He added that the average in France, in comparison, is currently 150 cases per million.
Thursday's data adjustment also impacted case numbers on the Island of Montreal. Public health authorities added 295 cases to the city's total on Thursday, 73 of which were from the past 24 hours. The total number of cases in the city since the start of the pandemic is now 30,963.
There are 136 people receiving care for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Thursday, up six from the 130 the province reported on Wednesday. Of those in hospital, 29 are in the intensive care unit, which is three more than the 26 reported 24 hours earlier.
As of Thursday, 58,012 people are confirmed recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec, which is an increase of 208 from Wednesday.
Quebec reported that it completed analyses of 24,112 COVID-19 tests on Sept. 15 (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
DUBE PUBLICLY APOLOGIZES
Dube publicly apologized on Thursday to the hairdresser who he accused of serving clients while knowingly being infected with COVID-19, including some in a private seniors' residence. The hairdresser actually was not aware she had the disease, Dube said.
“The good news is she’s doing well, she is recovering from what happened to her, and I told her that I would call her and check on her a couple times because I thought the incident was a very sad one for me, for her, and I wanted to mention it publicly...," he said.