There are just under 2,000 people in COVID-19 hospital beds, with projections suggesting that could rise above 3,000.
Quebec's daily COVID-19 numbers are out, and they offer unsurprising confirmation that the Omicron wave is still battering the province. With 15,874 new cases recorded on Wednesday, in addition to a net increase of 203 people in hospital — a new record — the virus is running rampant.
At a press conference on Thursday, Health Minister Christian Dubé warned of an "avalanche" of hospitalizations anticipated in the next few days. The previous record for a one-day increase in hospitalizations was a few days ago, on January 3, with 196.
Quebec's Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) released projections today showing that within two weeks, hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients could surpass 3,000, "Well above the Level 3 [occupancy threshold] established by the Ministry of Health and the thresholds observed during previous waves."
Active hospitalizations currently stand at 1,953, according to the Health Ministry numbers released Thursday morning. There was a net increase of 16 people in intensive care from the previous day, bringing the total to 207 active ICU cases. And 26 more people died, bringing the total to 11,846 since the pandemic began.
In addition, the health minister acknowledged that the case counts are being underestimated.
"As for cases, we know that they are underestimated and this will be even more true with the rules we announced about PCR tests," said Dubé.
He said that the test positivity rate provided another good indication of the gravity of the situation.
"We have worse visibility on the epidemiological situation, but that's not to say we're blind," said Dubé. According to the health minister, the 31.2% positivity rate established with the most recent numbers has never been seen before.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.