Last chance parties: recalcitrant bars change their minds

Last chance parties: calcitrant bars change their minds

MISE & Agrave; DAY

The day after the announcements of “last chance parties” in several nightclubs, the majority of establishments decided to change their minds on Sunday, when Quebec reached a new record of daily cases of COVID- 19 due to the rise of the Omicron variant.

Saturday, Le Journal relayed some advertisements of these parties organized in a multitude of bars and nightclubs. One of them, at the Kampai Garden, took place on Friday.

In images posted to Instagram by one of the owners, Samuel Haas, hundreds of customers are seen dancing without masks, without distancing and as if COVID had disappeared for a weekend.

“We are sincerely sorry for the lack of judgment and sensitivity we have shown in holding a 'last night' to celebrate following the announcement of the new measures that will come into effect this week,” said Sunday to TVA Nouvelles the co-owner and director of operations of the establishment, Philippe Allard-Riendeau, who dissociates himself from his colleague owner.

For its part, the Blvd44 nightclub will still hold its event, but it promises a lot of traffic limit. The establishment had advertised a party organized on Sunday with a poster showing Prime Minister François Legault in a ballerina.

“We will be open this evening respecting the authorized sanitary measures and with a very limited traffic as in the last days, even the last weeks”, declared the establishment on its Facebook page, Sunday, while also mentioning that the place had never been a hotbed of a COVID-19 outbreak.

“Bad idea,” says Dr. re Drouin

The director of public health of Montreal, Mylène Drouin, reacted to this type of event.

“Last chance” parties, let's face it, that's a terrible idea. The situation is worrying. Now is not the time to celebrate, ”she posted on Twitter.

In Quebec City, after criticism from Mayor Bruno Marchand and regional public health, the bar Le Dagobert went back and canceled the dance party scheduled for Sunday.

“For safety reasons and considering the announcement of the new health instructions that will be in effect on December 20, we have decided to cancel the last night of dancing allowed, ”can be read on the bar's Facebook page.

Mayor Marchand even held a press briefing on Sunday to denounce this type of event.

“It's more important than making money and having a last party […]. We are playing with people's health, ”he insisted.

The public health department of the Capitale-Nationale also said it was very concerned about the situation.

“We strongly recommend that the owners of these establishments exercise the utmost vigilance and the application of sanitary measures, in particular the wearing of masks on the dance floor” she declared.

The tip of the iceberg?

For several experts, the 3,846 cases recorded on Sunday are only a small part of the damage that the Omicron variant has already done in Quebec.

Dr. Earl Rubin, of the Montreal Children's Hospital, is convinced that the reports of the last days underestimate the real number of COVID patients.

“Testing centers are overwhelmed and the wait can take several hours, discouraging many. So when we say that there are 3,846 new cases, that only reflects the number of people who have been tested, ”he said.

The 9.9% positivity rate Sunday, up more than 2% since Wednesday, came dangerously close to the last holiday season record numbers of 11.2%. In addition, only 8% of Quebecers have so far received a booster dose.

The new measures announced on December 16 & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;

  • Indoor gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people; & nbsp;
  • Capacity at 50%: restaurants, bars, performance halls, amphitheatres; & nbsp;
  • Maintenance of capacity of tables for 10 people (or occupants of three residences); & nbsp;
  • Dancing and karaoke prohibited; & nbsp;
  • 3rd dose of vaccine moved forward for the 60 years and over, with an interval of three months with the 2nd dose; & nbsp;
  • Return of high school students present on January 10; & nbsp;
  • No change for the start of the school year in elementary school. & nbsp;
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