• Quebec reported 729 new cases on Wednesday and 19 more deaths. 
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 289,670 confirmed cases and 10,426 people have died.
  • There are 618 people in hospital (a decrease of 10), including 120 in intensive care (a decrease of one).
  • 16,117 doses of vaccine were administered on Tuesday. A total of 472,710 doses have been administered since Dec. 14. 

Premier François Legault and provincial health authorities are expected to outline new COVID-19 restrictions later today, as concern over coronavirus variants grows. 
On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé warned that while the number of COVID-19 cases in the province appears to be stable, the number of variant cases is rising  especially in Montreal. 
Last week, variants accounted for about 10 per cent of new cases in Montreal. Now, they’re hovering at around 12 to 15 per cent.
Legault and Dubé’s announcement will be streamed live here at 5 p.m.
Montreal public health director Dr. Mylène Drouin is also providing an update today. That news conference is at 1:30 p.m., and you can watch it live here as well. 
On Wednesday, Quebec’s statistics agency revealed life expectancy in the province has dropped due to the pandemic.
In 2020, life expectancy at birth was 80.6 years for men, five months shorter than it was in 2019. Life expectancy for women dropped eight months, and was 84 years in 2020.
The Institut de la statistique du Québec estimates 74,550 people died in the province last year, a 10-per cent jump compared to 2019. You can read the report here (in French).
To reserve an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go on the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.
If you have been feeling isolated, we’ve compiled some ways to help cope as part of a special CBC Quebec project called Out of the Dark: Real Talk on Mental Health.
Top COVID-19 stories today
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • Fever. 
  • New or worsening cough. 
  • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea).  

If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 18776444545 to schedule an appointment at a screening clinic. 
Quebec government reminders for preventing the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear a mask or face covering
     when physical distancing is not possible. Wearing a mask is mandatory in enclosed public spaces across the province.
  • Stay at least two metres away from other people as much as possible. 
  • Self-isolate for 14 days after returning from a stay outside the country.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here.