COVID-19: schools, bars and cinemas closed, load shedding in hospitals

COVID-19: schools, bars and closed cinemas, ballast in hospitals

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé.

Faced with the surge in COVID-19 cases, the government of Quebec has ordered the closure of bars, gyms, spas, cinemas and elementary and secondary schools in the province. Restaurants will be open between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. and sports will be allowed behind closed doors.

We need to make a break today. It is imperative that people understand that we must lower the contacts. What we have seen in bars at the moment is not acceptable, it & rsquo; is even irresponsible. & Nbsp;

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services

The epidemiological situation is “critical”. The “dazzling” community transmission, according to the Minister of Health Christian Dubé, who held a press briefing on Monday, at the beginning of the morning. Infections in Quebec reach for this new day the figure of 4571, & nbsp; or 725 cases more than & nbsp; the figure of the day before, and 2,943 cases & nbsp; more than last week. This is the highest total since the start of the pandemic.

Schools in the province will therefore close their doors on Monday evening, and all extracurricular activities will be canceled. Vaccination and rapid testing services will, however, remain effective in schools, as will daycare services, in particular to allow health care workers to remain at work.

CEGEPs and universities will remain open for exams and internships. Schools that plan to reopen before January 10 will have to focus on distance education.

New measures to plan?

For now, it will still be possible to get together with 10 people for Christmas. But the situation could quickly change. “We are 8 million in Quebec. And we are at war. It is war on the virus right now, ”said Christian Dubé.

At the end of the day, the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) will make projections to the government regarding the future rise in cases and hospitalizations. Depending on the figures obtained, health measures could be tightened again. These predictions “are unlikely to be encouraging.” The offloading of emergency surgeries is however ruled out.

“We take it one day at a time,” moderates Mr. Dubé. It's so bad what's happening. ” The return of the imposition of a curfew has not been ruled out by the Minister of Health.

Last week, the state backtracked, limiting gatherings inside homes to 10 guests. This limit had been set at 20 previously, but the rise in cases as well as the advent of the Omicron variant has shaken the government's plans.

Bet on tests

Quebec went into rapid test mode on Monday. Montrealers have flocked to pharmacies to get them. However, it is impossible for all citizens to receive a box of rapid tests today, recalls the Quebec Association of Owner Pharmacists (AQPP). Of the 800,000 rapid test kits slated for distribution before the start of the holiday season, 200,000 will be available as of Monday. This is the equivalent of a million tests.

However, one must avoid going to screening centers as a preventive measure, recalled Christian Dubé. These centers are reserved for individuals who have been in contact with the virus or who are showing symptoms. In addition, a guide for the general public indicating the screening criteria will be unveiled by Quebec on Monday.

Christian Dubé encourages Quebec citizens to seek an additional dose of protection in order to better protect themselves against the Omicron variant. According to the minister, three doses of the vaccine would make it possible to be protected at 75% while with the two doses, we would be protected at only 30%.

With the collaboration of Fanny Forest and Yann Nopieyie

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