Quebec reported 12,833 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread.
Since the start of the pandemic, the province has registered 559,270 infections, 477,854 cures and 11,692 deaths, including 15 within the last 24 hours.
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The number of active cases is 69,724.
However, health authorities have warned that the true number of infections may be higher as screening centers are overwhelmed, and rapid test kits used at home may mean some cases are not reported.
Pandemic-related hospitalizations increased by 88 to 702. Of these patients, 115 are on intensive care, which is an increase of six over the previous day.
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In a tweet Monday, Quebec Premier François Legault admitted that hospital admissions were rising rapidly.
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“Fortunately, the increase in intensive care is not that great,” he wrote in French.
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On Monday, third-dose boostershots became available to Quebecers aged 60 and over.
Legault was among hundreds at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal who received a shot.
Legault urged Quebecers to get their vaccines as soon as they become eligible, saying a third dose increases protection against the Omicron variant from 30 to 75 percent.
He also reminded people of the importance of reducing contacts.
“Of course you have to be careful in the next few weeks, also for the new year,” Legault said. “We need to protect our hospitals.”
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