Coronavirus: Quebec reports 1,259 new cases, 32 additional deaths as hospitalizations drop

Quebec is reporting 1,259 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of people infected since the beginning of the pandemic to 129,699.

The province reported 32 additional deaths attributable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, with nine of those deaths occurring in the last 24 hours.

To date, a total of 6,774 Quebecers have died of the illness, more than any other province in Canada.

Read more: Quebec government outlines holiday plans with schools to close early to allow for 4 days of family gatherings

Hospitalizations are down slightly with a total of 624 patients, for a decrease of 27. Of those, 96 are in intensive care, five fewer than Thursday.

On Thursday, Quebec Premier François Legault outlined his government’s plans for the holiday season that would allow for four days of family gatherings from Dec. 24 to Dec. 27.

The plan includes a modified school schedule and a voluntary confinement period of one week before and after the set dates.

The premier warned, however, that the situation in the province has to remain under control for holiday gatherings to go ahead.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Quebec to allow gatherings from Dec. 24-27, schools move to online learning before winter break' 3:14 Coronavirus: Quebec to allow gatherings from Dec. 24-27, schools move to online learning before winter break

Coronavirus: Quebec to allow gatherings from Dec. 24-27, schools move to online learning before winter break

Quebec’s director of public health Dr. Horacio Arruda specified an epidemiological analysis will be required to determine if the plan can go ahead, but essentially the goal is to keep the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths below current levels.

The deciding factor ultimately will be the health-care system’s ability to cope with the crisis, according to Arruda.

Read more: Online learning spurred by pandemic takes toll on university students and teachers in Montreal

Health authorities say 34,703 tests were given on Nov. 18, the latest day for which that information is available.

Recoveries stand at 111,326.

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