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CISSSO employees test positive for virus

CALEB NICKERSON
OUTAOUAIS March 30, 2020
On Friday, the Centre intégré de Santé et de Services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) announced that two employees at the Hull Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. In order to protect staff, 11 employees were placed in isolation. On March 30, the CISSSO announced that an additional three employees had also tested positive, bringing the total to five.
The CISSSO said in a press release that they are conducting a “rigorous investigation” to determine every contact that the employees had, including patients, family members and other staff. Anyone who may have been in contact with the employees will be contacted.
“In order to support the Hull Hospital team, which will be understaffed, a contingency plan will be put in place so that nurses from the Gatineau Hospital and other facilities will be available to assist the Hull team,” the statement reads. “In order to limit the spread in our hospital environments as much as possible, we are currently setting up cold, warm and hot zones in emergency rooms and care units. These designated zones will separate patients coming in for any emergency situation other than the COVID-19 (cold zone) from those showing symptoms (warm zone) or affected (warm zone) by the COVID-19.”
The press release on March 30 also noted that some cases were detected in rural parts of the region, but didn’t provide specifics.
“At this time, we are not in a situation of widespread community transmission, which means that we know who the source of contamination in each case is,” the release reads. “Despite the relatively small number of cases compared to other regions of Quebec, we are asking the Outaouais population to respect the instructions issued by the government.”
Public health officials have warned that the confirmed cases are just the tip of the iceberg and the number of actual infections is likely much higher.
As of Monday, Quebec has 3,430 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths. 235 people have been hospitalized, with 78 of those requiring intensive care.
Premier François Legault announced in a press conference on Monday that the province’s grocery stores will be closed on Sundays throughout April, to give employees a chance to rest. Gas stations and dépanneurs will remain open.
The north of Quebec and several other vulnerable regions have been closed off to visitors, with police checkpoints to ensure public compliance. Residents are asked to not leave their homes or communities unless absolutely necessary.

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