Today, Canada reported record 1,545 Omicron cases in a single day. Overall COVID cases jumped to 74,264 as per updates provided by provincial governments. Highest number of new cases were reported in Quebec at 5,043 followed by Ontario at 3,453 and British Columbia at 1,308.
These cases are delayed by a day because provinces can only report previous day count and Omicron count is also delayed as the provinces need to further sequence the new samples to detect the variant. Canada is leading the world rally in Omicron by reporting 1,545 new cases of this variant in a single day. With this new surge, Canada has now reported total of 3,402 cases of Omicron.
Although Canada’s most of the population is fully vaccinated, there is still such a spike in new COVID cases and active cases reaching the highest point. Canada has already issued an official advisory for Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.
For International travelers – Transport minister, Omar Alghabra shared the simplest form of requirement for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers traveling to Canada in a tweet.
Key Highlights By Provinces In Response To COVID & Omicron:
Montreal declared local state of emergency to stop Omicron variant of COVID-19. Quebec’s Premier has indicated today that new decision might kick in.
“As in many places in the world, Quebec is faced with very difficult choices. What guides us is the ability or not to treat sick Quebecers in the coming weeks. We will come back to you tomorrow with our decisions.”
Ontario Omicron Response:
Introduced a 50 per cent capacity limit in the following indoor public settings:
- Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments and strip clubs;
- Personal care services;
- Personal physical fitness trainers;
- Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies);
- Shopping malls;
- Non-spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. gyms);
- Indoor recreational amenities;
- Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
- Tour and guide services;
- Photography studios and services;
- Marinas and boating clubs;
- Facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities;
- Entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
- Racing venues;
- Meeting and event spaces;
- Studio audiences in commercial film and television production;
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and
- Fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals.
- The number of patrons permitted to sit at a table in a restaurant, bar and other food or drink establishment and meeting and event space will be limited to 10 people and patrons will be required to remain seated.
- Patrons must remain seated at concerts venues, theatres and cinemas.
- Bars and restaurants and meeting and event spaces and strip clubs that serve food and drink like a restaurant will be required to close by 11 p.m. Take out and delivery will be permitted beyond 11 p.m.
- Singing and dancing in restaurants and bars and other select settings will not be allowed except for workers or performers.
- Food and/or drink services will be prohibited at indoor sporting events; concert venues, theatres and cinemas; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments including in these establishment can operate subject to the rules applicable to these settings (e.g., 50% capacity).
- The sale of alcohol will be restricted after 10 p.m. and consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m.
Alberta declared eligibility for booster shot to aged 18 and older who received their second COVID-19 vaccine at least five months ago. At the moment, Alberta has the highest number of Omicron cases in Canada.
Premier Jason Kenney has clearly mentioned that “The severity of the Omicron variant is not yet known, but it is clear that there is an increased risk of transmission. Expanded availability of third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will help provide increased protection and prevent community spread.”
“There is still a lot that we don’t know about Omicron. But one thing we do know is that the most powerful protection from this highly contagious variant is to get a booster shot. I urge all Albertans to step up and protect themselves and the health-care system with a booster as soon as they can.” Jason Kenney, Premier
BC government has introduced new measures to curb the COVID cases. These restrictions are in addition to the announcements made on December 20:
Revised provincial health officer orders will take effect on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
The restrictions will extend to Jan. 18, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:
- no organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;
- concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
- closing gyms, fitness centres and dance studios;
- closing bars and nightclubs; and
- limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers.