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Most students in Newfoundland and Labrador are heading back to classrooms Tuesday, the second Atlantic province to return to in-person education this year.
The return to class plan posted by the government includes screening guidelines, mask rules and cohorts aimed at reducing the number of close interactions. Students were also to take two rapid tests, including one Tuesday morning, prior to their return.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, said last week that "school is essential" and urged parents to keep their children's social circles tight outside of the classroom.
"We will see a rise in cases when schools reopen and we are willing to accept that, so that children can be in school," she said last week. "We need to balance the rise in cases resulting from school exposures by limiting spread in the community."
The province will adjust current tight restrictions "only when the epidemiology permits," she said, noting that the plan is to proceed with a phased approach when it does begin easing rules.
"This strategy will help us keep schools open by keeping cases at a level that the province can manage."
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A return-to-school document posted online notes that the province has the "benefit of a protected population."
As of early Tuesday morning, CBC's vaccine tracker was showing a total of 86.7 per cent of the population of Newfoundland and Labrador as fully vaccinated. According to the provincial document, as of Jan. 20, over 76 per cent of children between five and 11 have received at least one dose.
Students in Nova Scotia were the first to return to school in the winter term in Atlantic Canada, heading back to classrooms on Jan. 17.
In Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, students are set to stay remote until Jan. 31 at the earliest.
What's happening across Canada
Here's a glimpse of the latest pandemic developments across the country. As provinces provide updated information Tuesday, we'll bring you the latest data, including around hospitalizations and deaths.
- N.W.T. reports 15th COVID-19 death as active cases decrease
- Rapid spread of COVID-19 in Igloolik leads to strict new health measures
- 7th and 8th COVID-related deaths reported on P.E.I.
- Enforcing new vaccine mandate frustrates some Quebec retailers
- 111 Ontario schools reporting staff and student absence rates above 50%
- 23 COVID-19 deaths, 52 more hospitalizations in Manitoba over the weekend
- Saskatchewan premier says strict COVID-19 restrictions cause 'significant harm for no significant benefit.'Hospitalizations in the province are on the rise.
- Alberta responds as COVID-19 calls swamp emergency medical response
- B.C. reports 63 more people in hospital with COVID-19 and 24 more deaths over 3 days
What's happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 355.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's case-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.6 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea's daily count of new coronavirus cases topped 8,000 for the first time, as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly despite the recent extension of strict physical-distancing rules to slow infection.
Japan is set to more than double the number of regions under enhanced coronavirus curbs on Tuesday, even as it sought to modify strategies to contend with the infectious Omicron variant that has fuelled record numbers of cases.
In the Middle East, Israel's health minister said he did not think Israel will offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to most people after the government made it available to over 60s and other high-risk groups.
In the Americas, a New York judge struck down the state's mask mandate, one week before it was due to expire, ruling the governor overstepped her authority in imposing a rule that needed to have been passed by the state legislature.
Chile, which already boasts one of the world's highest COVID-19 vaccination rates, has agreed to purchase two million vaccine doses from Moderna, Chilean interim health minister Maria Teresa Valenzuela said.
In Africa, the health ministry in South Africa reported 1,332 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and 88 additional deaths.
In Europe, Germany extended its current pandemic measures as the expert panel appointed by the government has warned the Omicron variant could bring critical infrastructure in Europe's biggest economy to a breaking point.
With files from Reuters
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca