Quebec adds 656 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths as vaccination effort continues

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Quebec recorded another 656 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and an additional four deaths linked to the virus.

Since the start of the health crisis over a year ago, 303,707 people in the province have been infected by the novel coronavirus, while the number of recoveries stands at 286,347.

Hospitalizations increased slightly on Tuesday, with six more COVID-19 patients admitted for treatment. Of the 519 people hospitalized across the province, 113 are in intensive care — one less than reported on Monday.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of 10,618 Quebecers so far. Of the four new deaths attributed to the virus, officials say one occurred in the last 24 hours. The remaining three deaths are believed to have happened between March 16 and March 21.

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On Monday, Quebec pharmacies joined the province’s inoculation effort with 350 pharmacies beginning vaccinations in Montreal. The program is expected to expand provincewide in the upcoming weeks.

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Benoit Morin, head of the association representing pharmacy owners, told Global News on Monday that pharmacies could eventually be giving some 125,000 shots a week.

Since Quebec’s vaccination campaign began in December, a total of 993,012 doses have been administered, including 26,040 in the last 24 hours.

On Monday, Health Minister Christian Dubé expressed continued worry over the growing proportion of new cases linked to variants, urging Quebecers to continue to follow public health guidelines to keep a third wave at bay.

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Dubé will join Quebec Premier François Legault and public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda for a 1 p.m. news conference in Quebec City to address the province’s response to the health crisis.

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