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People queue to collect COVID-19 antigen test kits at the Rideau Centre mall in Ottawa on Jan. 7, 2022.PATRICK DOYLE/Reuters

Both Quebec and Ontario are reporting a drop in COVID-19-related hospitalizations but an uptick in patients requiring intensive care.

Ontario reported nearly 600 patients in intensive care and Quebec had 275 patients listed, in both cases a rise of 10 patients compared to the previous day.

Federal health officials said on Friday that daily case counts, positivity rates and waste water surveillance show early indications that the pandemic’s Omicron-driven wave has peaked nationally, echoing statements from public health officials in several provinces including Alberta, Quebec and Ontario.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said despite signs of stability in patient numbers in some provinces, the toll on hospitals remains heavy and many hospitals across Canada are under intense strain.

In Ontario and Quebec, there are still more than 7,300 virus-related hospitalizations between the two provinces as of today.

More than 10,000 people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals across Canada each day in the past week, surpassing peak daily numbers in all previous waves of the pandemic.

Ontario reported 47 COVID-19 linked deaths today while Quebec added 68 deaths attributed to the virus.

Elsewhere in Canada:

  • Health officials in Nova Scotia say 82 people were recovering in hospital Saturday after being admitted with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Eleven of those people were receiving intensive care, and their average age is 67. Aside from the 82 admitted with COVID-19, another 84 patients were identified as positive upon arrival but were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care. Another 121 people contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital. That means a total of 287 people were in hospital Saturday with COVID-19, though health officials did not say how many people had been admitted with the disease Saturday. Sixteen new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 were reported Friday, when the total number of patients was 280, up from 269 on Thursday.