Quebec reported a jump of 105 hospitalizations over the past 24 hours for a record number of 3,300 people being treated for the disease caused by COVID-19 on Sunday.
The province also announced 21 more deaths associated with the virus, and 96 on Saturday.
Health data show that a further seven people were admitted to the intensive care unit for a total of 282 intensive care patients.
A further 5,946 cases of COVID-19 were reported, although officials have warned that the real number is much higher because PCR testing is limited to high-risk priority groups.
Sunday’s test positivity rate came back at 13.1 percent; 39,806 PCR COVID-19 tests were administered. There are currently 1,590 active outbreaks in the province.
Data show 81,564 doses of COVID-19 vaccine was administered within the last 24 hours, including 71,724 third doses.
Earlier this week, health officials suggested that COVID-19 cases in the province appeared to have peaked or would soon peak, and that hospitalizations could follow suit in the coming days.
But this weekend, the number of patients entering the hospital has not shown signs of declining. A local health authority representing eastern Montreal said Saturday that it may need to move beyond the current highest level of service reduction, known as level 4.
Valerie Lafleur, a spokeswoman for CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Ile-de-Montreal, said 28 percent of the total available hospital beds in the region were occupied by COVID-19 patients. She said the region would move to level 5 if that figure hits 30 percent.
Health officials said last week that during Level 4, elective surgeries and serious procedures to be performed within a spectrum of several months, such as heart and cancer-related surgeries, could be postponed.
Hospitals at that level perform between 20 and 50 percent of their normal medical procedures to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
Officials have not specified which services will be further reduced at level 5.
Sunday marks the last night of the province’s curfew and the last Sunday when unnecessary shops have to stay closed. Personal learning is set to resume Monday for elementary and high school students across the province.
– with files from The Canadian Press
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