With new cases above 6,000, Quebec premier hints at 'very difficult choices' he'll announce Wednesday
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Faced with record-breaking daily COVID-19 infections and overflowing emergency rooms, Quebec Premier François Legault will outline the province’s next steps in the pandemic response at a press conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The premier did not reveal which public health measures will be announced just three days before Christmas, but did say on social media that “Quebec is faced with very difficult choices” ahead, as are other jurisdictions around the world.
“What guides us is the ability or not to treat sick Quebecers in the coming weeks. We will come back to you tomorrow with our decisions,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Health Minister Christian Dubé and public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda will also be present at the news conference, which CTV will carry live.
- WATCH LIVE AT 6 P.M.: Quebec to announce new COVID-19 measures
The daily case count on Wednesday shattered the new record set on Tuesday of 5,043 cases, rising to 6,361.
Hospital capacity is an increasing concern for the province, with COVID-19 patients filling hospital beds across the province.
Another 76 people were admitted to hospital Wednesday. Forty-six patients were discharged in the last 24 hours, representing an overall increase of 30 hospitalizations from the previous day.
There are now 445 people in hospital across Quebec.
New measures were already announced Monday, but Health Minister Christian Dubé said more could be coming this week after his team meets with public health experts to determine where this wave of the pandemic is headed.
Legault has previously said that a curfew is not being ruled out as an option to deal with the worsening health crisis in Quebec.
On Monday, the province shut down gyms, schools, taverns, casinos, movie theatres, performance venues and other public settings to deal with the rapid spread of Omicron variant that is easily infecting people, even those with two doses of the vaccine.
Restaurant dining rooms have been allowed to stay open in a reduced capacity between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Quebecers are being strongly encourage to keep their holiday gatherings in homes small this year, even if the maximum limit is 10 people, and to avoid unvaccinated people completely.
Omicron now accounts for 80 per cent of the province's cases, Quebec's public health institute announced Tuesday.