By Gordon Lambie
Danielle McCann, Quebec’s Minister for Higher Education, announced Monday afternoon that so long as Quebecers aged 16-29 reach or surpass the 75 per cent vaccination goal and that the epidemiological situation is considered stable, students on post-secondary campuses will not need to be socially distanced for the fall 2021 semester.
Although she emphasized that the decision is conditional and could change or be revoked if things deteriorate, McCann said that there is a “strong chance” of a return to normal, in person classes in post-secondary institutions across the province this fall and encouraged schools and students to begin planning for that reality.
Provincial Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda encouraged schools to also come up with a back-up plan, just in case.
There were 276 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the province of Quebec on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected to 370,319 and the total number of active cases down to 3,925. The number of active cases in the province has fallen by almost 1,800 since last Tuesday.
There was one new death recorded in Monday’s data, which took place between May 24 and May 29. That addition increased the total number of people who have died over the course of the pandemic to 11,128.
The number of people hospitalized decreased by two, to 362. There were 89 people in intensive care; a decrease of one compared to Sunday’s data.
In the Eastern Townships there were 20 new cases reported, decreasing the number of active cases to 312. The region reported no new deaths, but the number of hospitalizations increased by three for a total of 32, two of whom are in intensive care.
Quebec reported a total of 5,583,075 doses of vaccine administered as of Monday morning, accounting for first dose vaccination in 60.8 per cent of the provincial population and adequate vaccine coverage in 6.8 per cent.
In the Townships, 303,621 people (60.1 per cent) had received a first dose as of Monday, and 27,633 (5.5 per cent) had received a second. Across age groups 15.4 per cent of those 12-17 in the region have been vaccinated, along with 45.3 per cent of 18–29-year-olds, 55.4 per cent of 30–39-year-olds, 68.2 per cent of 40-49-year-olds, 78.8 per cent of 50-59-year-olds, 87.3 per cent of 60-69-year-olds, and 91.9 per cent of those 70 and older.