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COVID-19: Quebec reports highest ever daily increase of cases, vaccine development progresses

On Nov. 8, the province of Quebec hit its highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1397 new cases of COVID-19 in one day. The increase in the number of cases and outbreaks are predominantly taking place outside of the Montérégie, largely in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and other regions. The Eastern Townships has also seen a spike in the number of cases and will join much of the southern part of the province in the red zone as of this Thursday.

Numbers in the Montérégie are creeping back up again, however: between Nov. 2 and Nov. 8, a total of 1,008 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed, an increase of almost 50 cases over last week. The Montérégie has also reported 31 hospitalizations and 20 deaths over the last week. The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent currently has 25 active cases, with 17 of them diagnosed in the last week. The MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville has also seen an increase in new cases, reporting 22 in the past week, while the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges is reporting 63. The MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry has seen a decrease in new cases, reporting only 11 over the past seven days.

As for municipalities across the Valley, most are stable, with small increases in total cases reported. Huntingdon is now at 48 cases, while Godmanchester is at 13, Sainte-Barbe is at 17, and Saint-Anicet is at 9.

Anyone experiencing symptoms, those who have been exposed to the virus, and those who have come into contact with someone has been advised by public health to get tested are encouraged to do so. Two mobile testing clinics are planned for the region for this week. The first is on Nov. 10 at the Centre Communautaire at 262 rue de l’Église in Napierville from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second is on Nov. 12 at the Centre Municipal at 140 rue Principale in Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Today, pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. announced early data on its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which show it may be 90% effective. The company also stated it could be ready for distribution at the beginning of 2021. At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “we hope a vaccine is coming early next year. I know we have secured several million doses … and obviously if it works, we will buy more when they become available. We’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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