Nearly 50,000 elementary and high school students were absent from Quebec schools due to COVID-19 less than two weeks after in-person classes resumed.
Quebec's Education Department said Thursday evening that 49,852 students, 3.64 per cent of the total number in the province, were absent after testing positive or having a suspected case of the disease.
It said 2,080 teachers, 1.53 per cent of the province's total, are also absent due to the disease.
The department said that as of Jan. 25, 96 classes at public and private schools were being conducted remotely and two schools were completely or partially closed due to COVID-19.
In-person classes in Quebec schools resumed Jan. 17, though many schools did not reopen until the following day due to a snowstorm.
The Health Department said 3,091 people were in hospital, a decline of 62 from the day before. It said 287 people were admitted and 349 were released.
The number of people in intensive care went down by seven from the day before, to 228.
Authorities reported 48 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.
Officials said 3,600 new cases were detected Thursday, though they warn that number is not reflective of the actual situation because PCR testing has been limited to certain higher-risk groups.
They said 32,055 tests were analyzed in the previous 24 hours, with 11.7 per cent coming back positive.