Quebecers won’t be lining up to bargain hunt on Boxing Day, as most stores are shuttered during a coronavirus lockdown that will last at least until Jan. 11.
Rather, the traditional post-Christmas sales day will take place mainly online.
Grocery stores, pharmacies, garages and pet stores will remain open, as will such health services as dentists.
Big box stores are prohibited from selling any goods that are not essential.
– Montreal hospitals at risk of being overrun by mid-January: Quebec Institute of Health
As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to rise, an expert opinion says that hospitals in Montreal could become overrun by mid-January.
The Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) wrote this week that Montreal and neighbouring regions are seeing increased cases five times greater than in other areas of Quebec.
“The increase in new projected hospitalizations is progressing even more markedly,” the report from the institute reads. “Projections predict a significant increase in bed occupancy in the coming weeks. Unlike in previous weeks, an overrun of dedicated capacities cannot be ruled out, especially as half of the designated beds are already occupied.”
Montreal averaged a 759 daily novel coronavirus case increase for the week leading up to Christmas and recorded 3,788 total deaths as of Dec. 24. (Quebec is not releasing its daily updates on the state of the pandemic Saturday).
INESSS reports that the greatest increase in cases is in the high-risk demographic of those aged 80 or over (+28 per cent), and that the number of planned hospitalizations has increased by more than 50 per cent over the past month.