Quebec Will Report Around 9,000 New COVID-19 Cases On Thursday, Crushing Previous Record

Premier François Legault noted the numbers during his Wednesday evening news conference.

Staff Writer
Quebec Will Report Around 9,000 New COVID-19 Cases On Thursday, Crushing Previous Record

On Wednesday night, Premier François Legault and his colleagues at the health ministry announced that the province will count around 9,000 cases on Thursday morning.

"We're seeing an exponential rise in cases," said Legault, detailing Omicron's stunning impact on cases in recent days to drive home the severity of the current situation.

"We think that in the next few days, there could be a notable rise in hospitalizations," added the premier.

Despite rumours of a curfew, there was no suggestion that there's one on the horizon. Legault didn't rule out adding "additional measures" in the coming days, but for now, the premier said he believes the current measures are enough to not overload the health network.

With soaring COVID-19 case counts thanks to the Omicron variant, the government ruled that after December 25, only six people or two bubbles will be allowed to gather in a single house. Until then, up to 10 people can gather if they wish, but Legault strongly discouraged that.

In addition, Legault recommended that Quebecers have only one Christmas celebration — either on the 24th or the 25th.

On December 22, the province recorded 6,361 new cases and 445 total hospitalizations. There have been 501,698 cases officially reported in Quebec since the beginning of the pandemic – not including Thursday's pending case count.

Health minister Christian Dubé noted that even though Omicron is a huge concern, its degree of severity is still unclear.

"The majority of people who are in hospitals today [...] have the Delta variant. We haven't seen the Omicron effect," said the health minister.

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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