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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."

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