Legault to announce new measures to deal with ‘critical’ COVID-19 situation in Quebec

December 16, 2021
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As COVID-19 cases spike across the province and the threat of Omicron looms, Quebec Premier François Legault says “the situation is critical” and he will announce new public health measures today.

The premier will hold a news conference at 6 p.m. ET. CBC Montreal will carry the conference live here. 

On Thursday, the province reported 2,736 new cases — its highest daily total recorded since Jan. 3, when Quebec was plunged in the virus’s second wave.

On Wednesday, the province reported 2,386 new infections. The seven-day rolling average for cases has now jumped to 2,035. 

In the last week, the number of people in Quebec hospitals due to COVID-19 has gone from 255 to 309.

During the news conference, the premier will be joined by Health Minister Christian Dubé and Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda. 

You can also listen live to that conference on CBC Radio One across Quebec. CBC Montreal News on television will have special programming until 7 p.m.

As the number of cases continues to climb, hospitalizations could shoot up in the coming weeks, according to the latest projections from the provincial government health-care research institute, known by its french acronym INESSS.

They show that as many as 700 Quebecers could be in hospital due to the virus by early January, with about 160 of them in intensive care.

The projections from INESSS released on Thursday were also based on data from research in South Africa about the spread of the Omicron variant.

It also says the projections have a “degree of uncertainty” and should “be interpreted with caution.”

“What we know is one way or another, it will go up,” said Luc Boileau, the CEO of the research institute, when talking about the number of people in hospital.

“And when it’s going to go up, it’s going to go up pretty quickly, and it could require lots of effort from our hospital systems.” 

WATCH | Physician explains risks of travel, holiday gatherings: 

COVID-19: How risky are holiday travel and gatherings?

Infectious diseases physician Dr. Lisa Barrett answers viewer questions about how risky holiday travel and gatherings may be and the usefulness of rapid COVID-19 tests. 2:59

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