Quebec officials give update as new coronavirus cases top 1,000

Quebec is reporting 1,078 new cases and nine additional deaths linked to COVID-19 on Thursday as the province tightens lockdown rules in designated red zones.

Premier François Legault provided the new numbers during an update in Quebec City, saying it’s important for citizens to heed sanitary restrictions and download the novel coronavirus federal alert application. The government’s priority is to improve contact tracing, he added.

“We have to make sacrifices in order to, as I said yesterday, to save our health network,” he said.

The province’s caseload has reached 82,992 while the death toll attributed to the virus has reached 5,915.

READ MORE: Quebecers asked to ‘stay home’ as spike in COVID-19 patients strains health-care system

The recent uptick in cases and growing spread of the virus has also led to more hospitalizations in the last week. The resurgence has also prompted officials to ask Quebecers to stay home to ease pressure on the health-care network.

As of Thursday, Legault said the number of patients jumped by 16 for a total of 425. Of those patients, 68 are in intensive care — an increase of six.

With the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Legault repeated his call Thursday for families to limit their Thanksgiving dinners to their households.

“Usually I see my mom but I won’t see my mom over the weekend,” he said.

READ MORE: South Shore police forces to make rounds in schools as new COVID-19 rules begin

On Thursday, Quebec’s new public health measures for regions under the province’s highest alert level came into effect. This includes shutting down gyms, limiting team sports and making masks mandatory for high school students.

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said police officers will be around high schools to educate young people on the need to follow public health measures such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.

Roberge says the province has no intention of shutting down schools even with COVID-19 cases on the rise.

The new rules for designated red zones such as Montreal are expected to last for a 20-day period, until Oct. 28.

Click to play video 'Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday' 1:31 Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday

Mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec high schools comes into effect Thursday

With files from the Canadian Press

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