Quebec to deploy rapid COVID tests to Saguenay region and test air quality in schools

He urged residents to make an effort to get the community transmission under control and to help the region’s overtaxed health system. “It’s a virus that feeds on our contacts,” Arruda said. “Each effort to diminish contacts will reduce the number of cases.”

Also Friday, the Education Department asked school service centres to conduct air-quality tests in classrooms beginning Dec. 1. Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said in a statement the carbon dioxide tests will alert officials to the work that needs to be conducted over the holiday break.

Health officials said Friday that hospitalizations decreased by six, to 669, and 90 people were in intensive care, the same number as the prior day.

A government-funded health institute said in its latest weekly projections that dedicated COVID-19 hospital capacity in the Montreal area should not be surpassed in the next four weeks.

But the projections, based on data collected between Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, also indicated that in some regions, the situation is more fragile as patients with COVID-19 occupied almost half of the dedicated COVID-19 beds.

The Institut national d’excellence en sante et en services sociaux also said hospitalizations are increasing across the province because infections are on the rise among people aged 70 years old and older.

On Friday, the Health Department said 1,236 more people recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 119,727 recoveries. Quebec has reported 138,163 COVID-19 cases and 6,984 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.

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