New Collection Limits Go into Effect in Quebec as COVID-19 Cases Soar in Canada – Montreal | The Canadian News

New public health restrictions take effect in Quebec on Sunday as the COVID-19 case count skyrockets across the country.

The province is limiting private gatherings to six people or two family bubbles as of Boxing Day Sunday, after reporting more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Christmas Eve and another 9,206 on Christmas Day.

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Authorities have said the daily numbers are likely underestimated because the province’s testing centers are overwhelmed and unable to keep up with demand.

The highly infectious Omicron variant of the virus has been driving an increase in COVID-19 cases across much of Canada in recent weeks.

Ontario reported 9,826 new cases of COVID-19 on Boxing Day.

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Christmas Day was the third day in a row that Ontario broke its record for daily case counts with 10,412 infections.

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Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot said more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Canada’s director of public health, Dr. Theresa Tam, has said that Omicron has become the dominant variant in several provinces.

Prime Minister François Legault warns of difficult weeks ahead

This comes as Quebec Prime Minister François Legault warned of the tough weeks ahead and asked people to be vigilant as they gather for the holidays.

In a Christmas message posted on social media on Christmas Eve, Legault said that the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus is more contagious than anything previously seen during the pandemic.

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Legault called on Quebecers to reach out to those who are alone on vacation or who are isolating themselves due to a positive COVID-19 test result, and acknowledged the courage and dedication of healthcare workers.

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“The next few weeks are going to be tough,” Legault wrote. “It will be very important to continue our efforts and stick together, even if we are tired.”

Legault says the next few weeks will be tough and Quebecers will need to stick together to ride out the latest wave.

Earlier this week, bars, cinemas, gyms and entertainment venues were abruptly ordered to close, while restaurants were allowed to stay open at 50 percent capacity with a strict 10 p.m. closing time.

On Friday, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon extended pandemic aid to restaurants.

Quebec has also tightened the rules on long-term care homes and nursing homes.

–With files from Alessia Simona Maratta, Global News

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