Quebec reports 33 deaths, hospitalizations dip as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease

By The Canadian Press

Quebec is taking its first steps today toward reopening the province after partially shutting down over the holidays due to record-high hospitalizations.

Premier Francois Legault announced plans last week to gradually loosen public health restrictions as the COVID-19 situation began to improve.

Beginning today, restaurant dining rooms can open at half capacity, with no more than four people or two different households at a table, and they must close by midnight.

The changes come as Quebec is today reporting 33 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The Health Department says 2,888 people are hospitalized, a drop of seven patients from the previous day, and 223 people are in intensive care, a decline of 10.

Quebec is reporting 2,423 new COVID-19 cases, but authorities have warned that number is not reflective of the actual situation because PCR testing has been limited to certain higher-risk groups.

Private indoor gatherings of up to four people, or two-family bubbles, are now permitted, and extracurricular sports can resume in elementary and high schools, junior colleges and universities, with the vaccine passport required for students 13 and over.

The second phase of Quebec’s reopening plan is set for next week, with places of worship and entertainment and sports venues allowed to reopen Feb. 7 with capacity restrictions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 31, 2022.

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