First case of United Kingdom's coronavirus variant detected in Quebec

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A healthcare worker talks with people as they wait to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020.

Canada's public health agency says while early data suggests the new variant may be more transmissible, there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms of COVID-19 or impacts vaccine effectiveness.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé called on federal authorities Tuesday to step up efforts to screen tourists returning to the province from Mexico and other sun destinations for COVID-19 after he said he was shocked by news reports of Quebecers flouting public-health guidelines while partying overseas.

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Canada surpassed 5,000 related deaths on May 12, then 10,000 on October 27.

Montreal was once again the most affected region in the province with 946 new infections on December 27, bringing the total confirmed case count since the beginning of the pandemic to 68,680.

In a tweet on Monday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé described the situation in hospitals as "critical". The number of people in intensive care has increased by two to 148.

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Ontario, which is not reporting new COVID-19 cases numbers on Monday, registered 2,005 new infections on Sunday, as well as 18 more deaths.

The province has now recorded 192,655 total cases and 8,023 deaths since the start of the pandemic. New Brunswick has 33 active cases, including three hospitalizations.

A fourth Canadian province has detected a case of the United Kingdom variant.

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Alberta confirmed its first case yesterday (December 28). B.C.

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