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Quebec adds more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases in largest single-day rise to date

Montreal -

Quebec recorded a single-day increase of over 10,000 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, the largest jump ever recorded.

According to the province's open data portal, slightly more than 10,000 new cases were added on Friday, eclipsing the previous record of 9,397 new cases reported one day earlier. Details on COVID-19-related hospitalizations and on vaccinations will be released next week. Quebec will not publish regular COVID-19 updates on its main page from Dec. 24-28 and Dec. 31 to Jan. 4. 

Friday's update is a continuation of rapid coronavirus spread never before seen in Quebec, as the province's hospitals brace for what could be a spike in hospitalizations to come, depending on the severity of the disease. 

It also marked the second-last day of permitted indoor gatherings above six as Quebecers prepare for tightened restrictions on Boxing Day. Bars, movie theatres, gyms and entertainment venues were abruptly ordered to close earlier this week, while restaurants were permitted to stay open at 50 per cent capacity with a strict 10 p.m. closing time. 

On Christmas Eve, Premier Francois Legault took to social media to ask Quebecers to be careful, and to deliver an unambiguous warning of the threat posed by Omicron. 

"The Omicron variant is more contagious than anything seen since the start of the pandemic," wrote the premier. "I count on your judgment to respect the instructions and to be careful."

Legault also encouraged those celebrating with family to think of those spending Christmas alone. 

"Please take the time to call the people who are alone," he wrote. "It's a small gesture that can do a lot of good."

"The next few weeks are going to be difficult. It will be very important to continue our efforts and to stick together, even if we are tired. I'm counting on you."


In a Friday interview with CTV News, Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylene Drouin said she was "suprised" by just how quickly Omicron has spread among residents. 

She said the new variant accounts for more than eight in 10 new infections in the city, and that "in the coming days, we think all cases are going to be Omicron cases."

She reiterated that contact tracers have been overwhelmed by the spread, saying it's up to Montrealers who catch the virus to notify anyone whom they may have spread it to.

Anyone who had close, prolonged, unmasked contact with an infectied person should themselves isolate for 10 days and get a test between day three and five of that isolation. 

"But that's close contacts (only)," said the director. "We do not want (people without COVID-19 symptoms) who just want to check if they're okay before going to a party to go get tested. We do not have the capacity right now."

That applies to what Drouin called "contacts of contacts," who should also not try to get a PCR test at this time.

"If your children have had a contact in school, and you're a parent, you don't have to, and we do not recommend for you to get a test."

Montreal public health also did not provide a regular update on its COVID-19 numbers on Friday, however logged a rise of 3,668 infections the day before.

The east side of the island is the most affected, experiencing a rate of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. 

-- Published with files from The Canadian Press. Top Stories

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