Quebec, Ontario set new COVID-19 records as provinces mull easing isolation rules


Published December 29, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Ontario and Quebec are both reporting new COVID-19 case records today, as Canadian provinces explore changing isolation rules to keep health systems afloat amid an unprecedented wave of infections.

Ontario has smashed its previous one-day record set Christmas Day with 10,436 new COVID-19 cases today and three more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Cases are even higher in Quebec, which is reporting more than 13,000 new infections, ten more deaths and a worrying 102-person rise in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

The sheer number of infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant has some provinces reconsidering their protocols for people who are infected or exposed to the virus, in order to keep their health systems running.

Ontario officials have said they’re reviewing their protocols in light of a recent decision by U.S. health officials to cut isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus to five days from ten days.

Quebec has said it would allow COVID-19-positive essential workers to stay on the job under certain circumstances.

Health officials in Nunavut, meanwhile, are extending a “circuit-beaker” lockdown, saying today that a rise in COVID-19 infections is pushing the territory’s health-care system to a breaking point.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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