Paramedics transport a patient suspected of having COVID-19 to the special COVID section of the emergency room at the Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal on Jan. 13, 2022.

The province reported 998 hospitalizations on Saturday, marking the first time since since Dec. 30, 2021, hospitalizations had dipped into the triple digits. On Sunday, that figure dropped by nine to 989.

COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked at 3,425 on Jan. 19, 2022.

The decrease in the number of hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 and the fact death rates are dropping is encouraging, Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious-disease specialist and medical microbiologist at the McGill University Health Centre, said on Sunday evening.

“But we can’t be careless and frolic,” he said. “We must be prudent. And we need the foresight to plan for what has already come about in other countries.”

The highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron subvariant is spreading rapidly in China and parts of Europe, its rate has been tripling every two weeks in the United States and early data show it is starting to increase in Quebec, Vinh said.

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