Quebecers await lockdown news

legault cp paul chiasson

By Selena Ross, CTV News Montreal

Doctors, teachers, parents and many, many others are anxious for an update on Quebec's lockdown plans, and they may soon get what they want: a rare 5 p.m. press conference was scheduled for Tuesday, then rescheduled for Wednesday.

Late Monday afternoon, the province announced that Premier François Legault would be speaking on Tuesday at 5 p.m., along with Health Minister Christian Dubé and Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda.

A couple of hours later, a second announcement said the event had been rescheduled for the following day.

The announcement didn't say what the topic would be. However, in recent months, late-afternoon press conferences are fairly unusual and tend to be reserved for big announcements, unlike the daily COVID-19 updates, which are generally scheduled for 1 p.m.

The press conference will come after a meeting with the leaders of the provincial opposition parties, and it will be held virtually, another somewhat rare move for Legault, Dubé and Arruda.

After a brief post-New Year's pause in announcing daily COVID-19 numbers, recent statistics have been updated and they don't look good for Quebec.

Monday brought 2,546 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours and 69 more hospitalizations. Quebec has returned to being Canada's COVID-19 hot spot, with a case rate per capita that's higher than any other province or territory.

The province's circuit-breaker "pause" is currently scheduled to end on Jan. 11. Also on Monday, several infectious diseases experts urged the province to delay ending the lockdown, or at least to delay reopening schools.

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