COVID-19: Quebec brings back night curfew, private gatherings banned as cases increase

Quebec brings back its controversial curfew from Friday at 7 p.m. 22.00, which is New Year’s Eve, and continues until kl. 5 in the morning the next day.

Quebec Prime Minister François Legault announced the announcement Thursday amid rising hospital admissions and an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant.

Also from Friday, private gatherings in the home will be prohibited. Only people who live alone or need caregivers are allowed to join another family bubble.

The restaurants’ dining rooms will also be closed, but the sampling options will be allowed to continue.

The province reported a record 14,188 infections and an increase of 135 pandemic-related admissions for a total of 939 patients, of which 138 were in intensive care.

Earlier in the day, the Quebec Institute for Expertise in Health and Social Services (INESSS) released its modeling predictions, which show that an already serious situation is getting worse.

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The more optimistic scenario, based on average growth rates, shows that COVID-19 admissions could reach 1,600 over the next three weeks, while intensive care patients could jump to 300.

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The second scenario projects up to 2,100 COVID-19 patients in regular beds and 375 in intensive care, which is higher than what the province saw in previous waves of the pandemic.

However, the institute said that the intensification of vaccination efforts, combined with recently implemented or forthcoming public health measures, could slow down the expected increase in hospital admissions.

– More on the way…

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