By Matthew McCully
Anticipating a return to normalcy, Quebec’s education ministry announced Wednesday that if 75 per cent of the 12-and-over population is vaccinated, the province can expect an in-person return to school without masks or bubbles. School transportation can return to normal, cafeterias and lunchrooms can reopen, and extra-curricular activities can go ahead.
Additional support measures for vulnerable students or those who have fallen behind because of the pandemic will also be available, the government announcement said.
The plan will be updated in early August and depends on the epidemiological situation and the progress of vaccination of the general population and students.
Quebec reported 288 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of people infected since the beginning of the pandemic to 370,815. There are currently 3,475 active cases in the province.
Five new deaths were reported in the last day, bringing the total to 11,138.
Hospitalizations decreased by 14 for total of 340, and 77 patients are in intensive care, down nine from the day before.
In the Estrie 16 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last day. There are 298 active cases in the region. No new deaths were reported locally, the total remained stable at 348.
To date, 61.9 per cent of eligible Quebecers have received at least one dose of vaccine.
In the Estrie, 307 830 have received at least one dose, which represents 60.9 per cent of the local eligible population.