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Canada’s chief public health officer says the collective efforts to fight COVID-19 are paying off, even as the country sits at a ‘critical juncture’ in the fight against fast-spreading variants.

Dr. Theresa Tam says on Twitter that COVID-19 disease activity continues to decline and vaccination is heading in the right direction.

But she says Canadians need to maintain COVID-19 precautions to protect each other, especially as cases of more contagious variants are mounting across the country.

Her comments come as Quebec is reporting its lowest number of COVID-19 cases in five months, with 666 new infections and 15 virus-related deaths.

Ontario, meanwhile, is reporting 1,087 cases as the province prepares to lift a stay-at-home order in one long-standing hot spot on Monday.

The majority of the province’s regions will then have returned to the province’s colour-coded pandemic response framework, with stay-at-home orders remaining in place in just three regions _ Toronto, Peel Region and the North Bay-Parry Sound district.

The Canadian Press