Quebec Just Reported Its Highest-Ever Daily COVID-19 Case Count

3,768 new cases.

Staff Writer
Quebec Just Reported Its Highest-Ever Daily COVID-19 Case Count

Quebec reported its highest-ever number of daily COVID-19 cases on Friday. You read that right — it's the most new cases announced in a single day since the pandemic started.

The ministry of health recorded 3,768 new COVID-19 cases on December 16.

A year to the day, the province recorded 2,324 cases. And that was way before the summer vaccination drive.

What Premier Legault called this current "explosion" of new cases follows the emergence of the Omicron variant, which Health Minister Christian dubé said is more contagious than other COVID-19 virus variants.

Legault called the situation "critical" and announced new health rules on Thursday.

As of Monday, December 20, restaurants, bars, stores and other venues will drop to 50% capacity. Singing karaoke and dancing at clubs will be banned too.

In addition, the province cancelled its plans to expand holiday gatherings, capping the number of people allowed at private gatherings at 10.

Finally, the premier announced a delay to in-person start dates at universities, cegeps and high schools across the province.

Even hockey couldn't escape the effects of the Omicron variant. The Montreal Canadiens didn't allow fans at the Bell Centre for their game on Thursday night and postponed a home game against the Boston Bruins scheduled for Saturday.

Despite the situation, Legault ruled out mandating a curfew, at least for now.

"I know Quebecers are sick of this," Legault said.

"Since the start, for 21 months, Quebec has been one of the places where the restrictions have been the most severe. We’re going to continue to do this. We’ll continue to make sure we react quickly. We put our pride aside."

Legault Elaborated On The Quebec Tax For The Unvaccinated

The 600,000 unvaccinated people will receive a call from the government.

Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.

On Sunday, January 16, Legault appeared on the Quebec TV show on Tout le monde en parle to discuss the new "health contribution" that non-vaccinated adults will be required to pay.

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The Latest Quebec Curfew Is Officially Over

But there's too much snow to go anywhere...

Rejoice! We can officially go on nightly walks again (if you can handle the cold) because Quebec's curfew was lifted as of Monday, January 17. That means no rushing to get home on time while risking fines.

During a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault said, "The reason we did this was to stop the exponential growth of the number of infections and then the number of hospitalizations. So given that we seem to have reached a peak, that permits us to remove the curfew."

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Quebec Bill 21 Won't Apply To Parents Who Volunteer In Schools & Wear Religious Symbols

Parents who supervise classes due to COVID-related staff shortages can wear hijabs, kippahs, crosses and turbans.

As a contingency plan to deal with a high number of staff shortages expected at schools in the coming weeks, Quebec's Ministry of Education has said parent volunteers might be asked to supervise classes if too many teachers get sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate. But, unlike teachers who are subject to Bill 21, volunteer parents can wear religious symbols in the classroom.

Quebec's controversial Bill 21, also known as Quebec's secularism law, prohibits public service workers — from police officers to teachers — from wearing hijabs, kippahs, crosses, turbans and other forms of religious symbols while at work. In fact, an elementary school teacher in Chelsea was removed from her position last month for wearing a hijab.

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On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?

Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.

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