In a possible harbinger of things to come, the Canadian province of Quebec has closed casinos as part of a partial lockdown measure, after Covid-19 cases doubled in the last week and the highly contagious Omicron strain continues to run rampant.
The Quebec Health Minister, Christian Dubé, released a statement on Monday. With the situation becoming critical and there being fears of an overloaded health system, casinos were obviously not the only closures the province was facing. Dubé also suggested limiting contact.
“We are closing bars, casinos, movie theaters and performance venues,” said Dubé. “Tele-working is now mandatory. Restaurants can be open only between 5AM and 10PM. Sports performances, professional or amateur, will have to be behind closed doors.
“We are also closing gyms and spas with the exceptions of personal care. Regarding schools we are closing elementary and high school as well as adult centers. However, we will keep elementary schools accessible until the holiday break to continue the distribution of rabid tests and the vaccination campaign only.”
While the strain is highly infectious, the vaccine has proven to be efficacious, largely reducing the symptoms to those of a common flu. In the French-speaking province, nearly 85% have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Even still, there are legitimate fears of hospitals being overrun.
In addition to that part of Canada, the Northeastern United States is being hit particularly hard by the Omicron variant, raising fears of more closures in the approach to Christmas and beyond.