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Legault set to announce new measures to deal with ‘critical’ COVID-19 situation in Quebec

Quebec Premier François Legault has called a 6 p.m. news conference to announce new pandemic measures as the spread of coronavirus continues to grow in the province.

On Thursday, the province reported 2,736 new cases — its highest daily total recorded since Jan. 3, when Quebec was plunged in the virus’s second wave.

On Wednesday, the province reported 2,386 new infections. The seven-day rolling average for cases has now jumped to 2,035. 

“The situation is critical,” Legault tweeted on Thursday. “I will hold a news conference tonight at 6 p.m. to announce important measures due to the increase of COVID cases and the new Omicron variant.”

In the last week, the number of people in Quebec hospitals due to COVID-19 has gone from 255 to 309.

During the news conference, the premier will be joined by Health Minister Christian Dubé and Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda. 

CBC Montreal will be carrying the press conference live tonight here on cbc.ca at 6 p.m. You can follow breaking updates here.

You can also listen live on CBC Radio One across Quebec. CBC Montreal News on television will have special programming until 7 p.m.

Hospitalizations to jump, projections show

As the number of cases continues to climb, hospitalizations could shoot up in the coming weeks, according to the latest projections from the provincial government health-care research institute, known by its french acronym INESSS.

They show that as many as 700 Quebecers could be in hospital due to the virus by early January, with about 160 of them in intensive care.

The projections from INESSS released on Thursday were also based on data from research in South Africa about the spread of the Omicron variant.

It also says the projections have a “degree of uncertainty” and should “be interpreted with caution.”

“What we know is one way or another, it will go up,” said Luc Boileau, the CEO of the research institute, when talking about the number of people in hospital.

“And when it’s going to go up, it’s going to go up pretty quickly, and it could require lots of effort from our hospital systems.” 

WATCH | Infectious diseases physician explains risks of travel, holiday gatherings: 

COVID-19: How risky are holiday travel and gatherings?

16 hours ago

Duration 2:59

Infectious diseases physician Dr. Lisa Barrett answers viewer questions about how risky holiday travel and gatherings may be and the usefulness of rapid COVID-19 tests. 2:59

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