Quebec saw its hospitalizations drop again Wednesday as the province recorded 17 new deaths linked to COVID-19.
The daily tally accounted for a total of 1,672 pandemic-related hospitalizations, a decline of 70 from the previous day. This includes 102 patients in intensive care units, a fall of five.
In the past 24-hour period, 106 Quebecers entered hospitals while 176 were discharged.
The province reported 1,861 new novel coronavirus cases, though the number isn’t representative of the current situation since PCR testing is limited to certain groups, including health-care workers and teachers.
Quebec gave 23,648 tests at government-run screening sites on Monday, the most recent day for which that information is available.
Officials say the results of 518 rapid tests were registered online by Quebecers in the latest update, including 376 positive results.
Meanwhile, 12,669 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in last 24 hours. More than 18.3 million shots have been given to date.
The province has recorded a total of 915,762 infections, while the health crisis has killed 13,903 people to date. The number of recoveries from the virus stood at 882,577 as of Wednesday.
Mask mandate eased in workplace
Quebec’s worker health and safety board announced wearing a mask continuously in the workplace will be optional as of Feb. 28 — but only if certain conditions are met.
The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) said masks can come off if a two-metre distance is maintained or if there is a physical barrier between workers.
Masks will still be required in “high traffic” areas, according to the CNESST.
The disinfection and cleaning of surfaces will still be mandatory in the workplace. Hand hygiene remains compulsory.
The new rules come into effect on the same day that workers can head back to the office.
Remote work, which had previously been recommended, was made mandatory in Quebec as part of sweeping new restrictions in late December 2021 as COVID-19 cases surged.
—with files from The Canadian Press
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