Daily COVID-19 cases soar to above 14,000 in Quebec

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Quebec brings back nightly curfew, other restrictions amid Omicron surge'
COVID-19: Quebec brings back nightly curfew, other restrictions amid Omicron surge
Quebec Premier François Legault on Thursday announced that the province is re-imposing its nightly curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Friday night to curb the spread of the Omicron variant as COVID-19 cases surge. Other restrictions being imposed include the closure of all restaurants except for delivery and take-out, a ban on private gatherings in homes except for care givers and people who live alone. In addition, all indoor sports will be prohibited and all places of worship will be closed except for funerals, which will be limited to 25 people. Schools will also remain closed until Jan. 17 and daycare will remain open for only essential workers. To help combat stores with staffing issues, all stores will be closed for the next three Sundays – Dec 30, 2021

Quebec is reporting 14,188 more COVID-19 infections on Thursday and nine more virus-related deaths.

Thursday’s caseload is the highest of any province since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active cases in Quebec now stands at 86,866.

Quebec Premier François Legault provided an update on the situation at 5 p.m. as cases of the Omicron variant continue to grow exponentially resulting in increased pressure on the health network. You can watch the live stream on this page with full details on what was announced by clicking here.

Hospitalizations saw another steep increase of 135, with 229 new patients admitted and 94 discharged. Of the 939 hospitalizations, 138 patients are in intensive care for an increase of 16 over the previous day.

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In a bid to avoid a breakdown in services, some health-care workers who test positive will be allowed back to work under certain conditions.

The province outlined the conditions during a technical briefing on Wednesday.

But modelling predictions released Thursday by the Insitut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) show the situation is likely to get much worse in the coming weeks.

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

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.

The institute said the predicted increase in hospitalizations might be affected and potentially slowed down with the intensification of vaccination efforts and newly implemented or upcoming public health measures.

To date, 84.5 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Emphasis is being placed on getting children between the ages of 5 and 11 doubly vaccinated and providing third dose booster shots as quickly as possible to all eligible adults.

Since the start of the health crisis, Quebec has recorded 586,607 infections, 488,030 recoveries and 11,711 deaths attributable to the virus.

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