So far, still no curfew or lockdown.
Following much speculation about new COVID-19 measures, Premier François Legault announced stricter post-Christmas gathering limits — but no curfew or lockdown — at a press conference Wednesday evening. He did, however, emphasize that measures could change in the coming days.
"The measures we're announcing this evening, we believe that it's enough to keep control of the hospitals. But we won't hesitate in the next few days if it is necessary to add other measures," Premier Legault said. "It's important for everybody to understand this."
La situation actuelle est critique et notre objectif reste le m\u00eame: \u00e9viter un d\u00e9bordement dans nos h\u00f4pitaux. On doit tous se mettre en mode urgence.\n\nPour nous suivre en directhttps://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1yoKMWOrYPRJQ\u00a0\u2026— Fran\u00e7ois Legault (@Fran\u00e7ois Legault) 1640213464
The day after the conference, Quebec reported 9,397 new COVID-19 cases, shattering previous records.
As Omircron pummels the province, Premier Legault spoke of the "steep exponential increase in cases" at the conference, noting that experts expect hospitalization to continue increasing after jumping from 309 to 473 over the past week.
"Our goal remains the same: to protect our hospitals so that we can continue to treat all those who need it," he said, before explaining that, as of December 26, only six people or two household bubbles would be allowed to gather in private residences and at restaurant tables.
Legault also asked Quebecers to cancel or postpone their Christmas parties if possible and, if not, to only have one celebration.
Since 70% of people in the hospital are 60 or older, Legault stressed that Quebecers aged 60 and up should be particularly cautious when it comes to holiday gatherings.
"People who are 60 and over, perhaps ideally you stay home," said Legault. "If you stay home there is no risk. If you must absolutely go to a family gathering or friendly gathering, you must know that there is a risk."
To minimize risk, Legault suggested reducing the number of people, wearing a mask, keeping your distance and opening windows regularly. He said to stay home if you have symptoms and get your third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
Legault also sent a message to unvaccinated Quebecers.
"Regardless of the reason why you don't want to be vaccinated, I am asking you if you don't do it for yourself, do it for others. But stay home because there's a greater risk that you will end up in the hospital and overwhelm our hospitals," he said, noting that the 10% of Quebec adults who are unvaccinated account for 50% of hospitalizations.
"I want to tell Quebecers that, over the next few weeks, we will go through a very difficult period. But it's not the first time that our people face a big challenge and we've always succeeded in having solidarity and social cohesion among us [...] It's not going to be a beautiful Christmas for everybody so it's important to help others — call people who are alone and take care of each other," he said.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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