OUTAOUAIS April 29, 2020
On Friday afternoon, the Centre intégré de Santé et de Services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) recorded the second COVID-19 death in the region.
The deceased was a resident of CHSLD Lionel-Émond in Gatineau, which is currently experiencing an outbreak of 11 cases. Another long term care facility in the region, CHSLD de la Petite-Nation in Saint-André-Avellin, is also experiencing an outbreak, with seven cases.
The first Outaouais death from the virus was reported a week before, when a patient at the designated COVID section of the Hull Hospital succumbed to the disease.
As of Monday, the Outaouais has 128 active cases (266 total cases, with 138 recovered) and six hospitalizations, none of which are currently in intensive care. In addition, 33 CISSSO employees have been infected. MRC Pontiac has had less than five cases for close to a month.
Up to date information on the region’s cases can be found here: https://cisss-outaouais.gouv.qc.ca/language/en/18907-2/
Across the province, there are a total of 24,982 confirmed cases with 1,541 hospitalizations, 210 of which are in intensive care.
On Monday, Premier François Legault announced that primary schools and daycares outside of the Montreal region would begin reopening on May 11. High schools, CEGEPS and universities will remain closed until late August. Attendance will be voluntary and Legault said that the timeline would depend on the number of hospitalizations across the province staying stable.
The goal of re-opening the schools is to increase the herd immunity of the population, meaning increasing the number of people who have been exposed to the virus and have developed antibodies.
However, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam made a statement on Saturday pointing out that it has yet to be proven that a significant number of recovered patients will have immunity.
Children are at a much lower risk for developing serious complications from the virus, but are able to transmit it to others.
The Quebec English School Boards Association issued a press release on Friday, with a list of the following recommendations for the re-opening of facilities:
- school attendance be voluntary for students;
- no student in the youth sector should be disadvantaged academically if they remain home or if their school remains closed;
- adaptations must be made for the adult education sector and for vocational training programs;
- clear guidelines be issued regarding physical distancing if necessary, and sanitary measures in schools and centres and for school transportation;
- special attention should be given to vulnerable student or those who are academically at risk based on evaluations already issued.
The provincial government has stated that they will continue following the direction of Quebec’s public health department.
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