Quebec reports 88 new deaths from COVID-19, but only eight more hospitalizations
Quebec saw a net increase of only eight hospitalizations Wednesday, and a slight decrease in ICU cases, reflecting provincial public health authorities' observations a day earlier that the pace of COVID-19 hospitalizations is slowing.
Deaths in the province, however, remain very high, with 88 newly reported, just one less than Tuesday's count.
Hospital turnover also remains quite high, with 359 new admittances -- there were also many discharges, however, leading to the small net increase.
There are four fewer people overall in intensive care, with 42 newly admitted and 46 newly discharged.
Overall, those hospital numbers continue to strain Quebec to its maximum capacity, with 3,425 people currently in hospital for the virus and 285 in intensive care.
On Tuesday, health authorities also released a guide for hospitals on how to decrease the overall level of care in coming days if they do max out their capacity. This would mean providing many non-COVID-19 patients with less intensive care for the time being until the situation stabilizes.
There are 6,123 new COVID-19 cases registered as of Wednesday, but testing numbers remain unreliable since PCR testing has been limited to a small segment of Quebecers such as health-care workers and teachers.
Of those tests, the positivity rate currently stands at 13.2 per cent.
ALMOST 115,000 NEW VACCINATIONS
Tuesday was a big day for vaccines, with almost 115,000 shots given out. A total of 35 per cent of Quebecers now have their boosters.
Younger Quebecers are now getting boosted in huge numbers. The majority of Tuesday's newly given boosters went to people aged 40 to 59, but those under 40 also make up a big portion.
In total, about 69,000 people in these two age groups got boosted within the day.
On Quebec's first back-to-school day since the holidays, however, there was little sign that vaccination of children under 12 is ramping up.
It's going slowly, with only 632 new first doses given to this age group on Monday. At this point, the number of daily second doses for children aged five to 11 is often equaling or even outpacing first doses, and on Tuesday it was 499.
QUEBEC'S NORTHERN REGIONS FARING THE WORST
Montreal, Laval and the surrounding areas are no longer leading the province in cases per capita.
The hardest-hit regions on a per-capita basis are mostly in the north. The highest rate right now is in Nunavik, followed by Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James.
Those two are followed by Chaudiere-Appalaches, Mauricie-Centre-du-Quebec, Nord-du-Quebec and Cote-Nord.
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