Quebec’s jump in COVID-19 cases linked to new variants, top doctor says

Summer may be underway but Quebecers need to exercise caution as COVID-19 indicators are on the rise, the province’s public health director announced Wednesday.

Dr. Luc Boileau gave an update on the situation, saying that the uptick in infections was foreseeable as sanitary restrictions were lifted.

Quebec is also dealing with the arrival of new variants of the novel coronavirus, which Boileau said are more transmissible. The majority of new cases are linked to the new variants, he added.

“We’re asking people to be careful,” Boileau told reporters in Quebec City, adding that wearing a mask is still recommended.

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The update comes as the health department on Wednesday reported 1,716 new cases based on PCR testing results and four deaths related to COVID-19.

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There are 1,260 people hospitalized with the disease as of Wednesday, a rise of 34 compared with the previous day. This includes 35 patients in intensive care units.

Boileau also pointed to a rise in the number of health-care workers off the job for pandemic-related reasons, such as awaiting test results and preventive isolation.

The latest update shows 6,285 employees absent from the network. This could complicate the situation for some institutions since it coincides with summer vacations, Boileau said.

“It’s an element that worries us given the precarious situation we have in hospitals during the summer,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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