The impact of COVID-19 on Quebec’s health network continues to slowly decrease, although deaths are still piling up among the elderly.

On Friday, the province reported 11 new pandemic-related deaths, bringing the total to 18,230 since the pandemic began. This heavy toll of the day, however, seems due to a catch-up in data entry since eight of the deaths actually occurred more than a week ago.

Almost all of the recent deaths have occurred in older people who were living at home when they caught COVID-19.

The National Institute of Public Health of Quebec has recorded for two weeks two deaths in CHSLDs, three in residences for the elderly and 41 in people living at home. These victims of the pandemic were 82 years old on average.

In hospitals, Quebec counted 1,265 people hospitalized on Friday who tested positive for COVID-19, down 4% over one week. Of these, 392 patients were hospitalized directly because of their infection, the others having been admitted for another reason.

The number of healthcare workers absent due to the pandemic also continues to decline and is even at its lowest in a year, since this data was compiled. On Friday, there were 1,669 absences in the health network, or 10% less than a week ago.

The spread also appears to be declining. The 399 new cases by PCR tests reported on Friday bring the daily average to 386. The trend is thus down 8% over one week. These figures likely reflect only a portion of total infections, due to limited access to PCR testing. Moreover, the proportion of PCR screening tests proving positive for COVID-19 remains high, at 7.4%.