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“Mr. Covidhead”

François Legault: Open a window to dilute Omicron at Christmas dinner

Quebec vs. Omicron, but only on Boxing Day.

The Quebec government held a highly anticipated press conference this evening to announce some pretty minor measures to fight the Omicron variant. With pandemic cases tripling over the past week (tomorrow’s case count is expected to be over 9,000), Quebec Premier François Legault, who spoke alongside Health Minister Christian Dubé and public health director Horacio Arruda, advised against Christmas gatherings but told Quebecers to host only one Christmas gathering if they absolutely have to do it and to open a window to let air circulate during the event.

‘Airing out’ is method that has long been advised as a small gesture that may dilute the virus in the air, but in terms of pandemic safety, it’s a measure that’s probably on par with hand-sanitizing your groceries. It’s almost laughable in the context of a public health briefing, especially given the fact that the Omicron variant is reportedly significantly more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19. Twitter has not been kind to the Premier’s suggestion tonight, in French or English.

“For one week, we wait for Legault to speak so that he ends up saying ‘Gatherings of 6 people and open a window’ — tell me it’s a joke?”

François Legault: Open a window to dilute Omicron at Christmas dinner

As for the real restrictions that were announced, the capacity limit for private gatherings in Quebec is currently 10 people from 3 households, but will be limited to 6 people from 2 households as of Dec. 26 — the day after Christmas. Restaurants will also be asked to allow no more than 6 people from 2 households per table.

“We are in a major crisis… as of Sunday.” — Christopher Curtis (@titocurtis)

On Tuesday, a government source reported that a lockdown was being considered by Quebec officials, as well as a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Legault said today that tougher measures could still be coming if the situation continues to deteriorate.

For more on the COVID-19 situation in Quebec, please click here.

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