Quebec’s Public Safety Minister, Geneviève Guilbault, issued a reminder on Thursday that Police activity will be increased over the holiday season, particularly around restaurants and bars. The stated objective of the increased police presence is to ensure the enforcement of the vaccine passport.
“There will be many festive gatherings over the next few weeks,” Guilbault said. “I invite the population to take advantage of this period to have a good time with loved ones and colleagues while respecting the rules of public health. It is important to maintain safe behavior during the Holidays, for our health and to get us out of this pandemic as quickly as possible.”
Earlier this week the government announced a plan to increase the limit on private gatherings to 20 vaccinated individuals as of Dec. 23.
The province reported 1,807 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of people infected to 460,233. The number of active cases in the province increased to 12,085, jumping up by close to 1,000 since Wednesday.
The number of hospitalizations also increased, rising by 13 to 255, with 60 people in intensive care.
There was one new death recorded for a total of 11,597 since the start of the pandemic.
In the Eastern Townships, the provincial institute of public health reported 1,541 active cases in on Thursday, an increase of more than 100 from the previous day. The sub-region with the highest number of cases continued to be Sherbrooke, with 612, although concentrations remained high in relation to local populations almost everywhere. The rate of infection remained particularly high in the Des Sources region, although rates were also on the rise in the Granit and Haut-Saint-François regions.
Two more schools in the Sherbrooke area announced preventative closures on Thursday due to active outbreaks. The des Quatre-Vents and de l’Écollectif schools will both be closed on Friday until at least Tuesday. Although there are currently only fifteen confirmed cases between the two schools, the presence of a large number of symptomatic children was a factor in the decision.
The province’s list of schools that have had at least one case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days had 79 different public and private establishments on it as of the end of the day on Wednesday.
To date, 221,126 young people aged 5 to 11 have received a first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 and 82,180 are awaiting their appointment.