Quebec reports 23 new COVID-19 deaths, with over 6,511 health workers absent

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Quebec reported 23 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and further decreases in hospitalization.

There are a total of 54 fewer people in hospital with the virus after 111 new admissions and 165 discharges. The total is now well under 2,000, at 1,847.

In intensive care units, 62 patients are fighting COVID-19 -- four fewer than Tuesday, after seven admissions and 11 discharges (which can also mean deaths).

As Quebec gears up to end its health-care bonuses after two years, which unions say will create a flood of workers heading to the private system, it's contending with massive absences as well: 6,511 health-care workers are absent for COVID-related reasons as of Wednesday.

Provincial officials are set to give their weekly COVID-19 briefing at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, three days before Quebec drops its mask mandate in most public places as of Saturday morning -- the last broad public-health rule for the general public.

Masks will still be required on transit and in health-care settings, as well as care homes, after that date.

The positivity rate among COVID-19 tests has been on a fairly steady decline since the beginning of April and it's currently at 7.7 per cent.

However, testing overall remains a less reliable indicator of the disease than it was until 2022, when it was restricted to a minority of the public.

On Tuesday, 19,250 new vaccine doses were given to Quebecers, about half of which were fourth doses.

  COVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC
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