LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 30, 2020 - No new case on the LNS today due to a postal code error
During the daily COVID update for the North Shore by the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord (CISSS de la Côte-Nord) on its website, there was 1 new case added to the to the MRC du Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent's (Lower North Shore) total. Beside the addition was a side note saying that the "case from another region was attributed to the Lower North Shore because of an error with the postal code."
Speaking by email with Pascal Paradis, Communication advisor for the CISSS de la Côte-Nord, Mr. Paradis confirmed the postal code discrepancy by stating the following: "That is a case from another region. No link with the LNS. A wrong postal code was entered in this other region. This case will be removed from our statistics."
The CISSS de la Côte-Nord will also be hosting a last minute press briefing this afternoon at 2pm QC time (3pm LNS time).
Many local residents are speculating the possibility of the North Shore moving into an orange alert level for the region due to up rise in cases in recent weeks, but this will remain to be seen if this is the purpose to today's press brief.
More to come ........
LOCAL NEWS – NOVEMBER 27, 2020: Screening questions asked at the border for tracing purposes
Effective yesterday morning, Thursday November 26, the entry point for the Southern Labrador border is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture officials. The purpose is to monitor traffic at the border. In an email exchange between CFBS and Newfoundland and Labrador's Premier, Andrew Furey's office, it was stated that based on information from Quebec Public Health, the Labrador-Quebec Border Amendments Special Measures Order of June 26, 2020, remains in effect. This Order is online and can be found here. There are no changes at the Labrador West-Quebec border.
CFBS received information from local residents of Blanc-Sablon yesterday afternoon stating that there was no issue in cross border travel for essential services, including essential shopping. Border officials asked drivers a series of questions, such as: if they had recently travelled, if they had symptoms of COVID-19, what the purpose is of wanting to enter Labrador, and also requested to see driver's license as proof of where they are coming from.
LOCAL NEWS – NOVEMBER 26, 2020: Border security returns this morning between L'anse au Clair and Blanc-Sablon
Effective today, Thursday November 26, the entry point for the Southern Labrador border will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to monitor traffic at the border. In an email exchange between CFBS and Newfoundland and Labrador's Premier, Andrew Furey's office, it was stated that based on information from Quebec Public Health, the Labrador-Quebec Border Amendments Special Measures Order of June 26, 2020, remains in effect. This Order is online and can be found here. There are no changes at the Labrador West-Quebec border.
In a Facebook post on Monday by Cartwright/L'anse au Clair MHA, Lisa Dempster-Powell, she stated the following:
"We are continually evaluating the public health measures necessary to protect the people of NL from COVID-19. A border check was in place in Southern Labrador last spring and it is being set up again this week to support compliance with public health measures.
· Travel into Southern Labrador from Blanc-Sablon will be restricted to travel for purposes of work, school, medical or essential retail functions. Individuals entering Labrador will not be required to self isolate if they are entering the province for less than 24 hours. Officers will be stationed at the border 24/7 this week to ensure compliance.
· No changes are occurring for the Labrador West-Fermont region for local residents. As has been the case since late June, individuals who live on Fermont, Wabush or Labrador City may travel within that region without having to self isolate when entering Labrador. Screening at the border will continue to ensure compliance with public health orders.
Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture officials are now on site at the Marine Atlantic terminal in Port aux Basques to screen people arriving in the province. Officers are also located at the Labrador West – Fermont Quebec border and a check point at the Southern Labrador – Blanc Sablon, Que border will be established on Wednesday, pending the snowstorm that is anticipated in Labrador. FFA is working with RNC, RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency and the Department of Health and Community Services on public health screening at all points of entry throughout the province." - Lisa Dempster-Powell
One of the main questions regarding limiting cross border traffic from Quebec into Labardor is the difference between restrictions at the Blanc-Sablon/L'anse au Clair border and the Fermont/Lab West border.
CFBS has sent an email to Premier Furey's office asking for a statement on why the two border entry points have different restrictions, keeping in mind that in terms of cases, the MRC to which Blanc-Sablon belongs has had 1 confirmed case, but the MRC to which Fermont belongs has had 6 confirmed cases.
As reported yesterday by the Labrador Voice, Jordan Brown, the MHA for Labrador West, is calling upon Premier Andrew Furey to apologize for a comment he made on Monday that incorrectly stated the border between the region and Quebec would be closed, which caused confusion in the region for a few hours.
During the COVID-19 update livestreamed by the government, Furey responded to a question about border restrictions with Quebec by saying there would be no changes to the Labrador City-Fermont border, but restrictions would be placed on the southern border with Quebec near Blanc Sablon.
In a followup question about a scenario where someone worked in Labrador City and lived in Fermont, Furey said the person could apply for an exemption, but otherwise would be required to self-isolate. Brown said it was the contradiction in those remarks that confused him and others in the region.
When contacted by SaltWire Network about the confusion the conflicting statements caused, the Office of the Premier said Furey’s comments about changes to the Atlantic bubble at the Quebec-Labrador border were focused on the southern Labrador border, not the one between Labrador City and Fermont.
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 26, 2020 - Protocols are Being Followed by the CSSSL
CFBS was speaking with the Administrator of the Centre de Services Scolaire du Littoral, Philip Joycey, regarding why schools on the Lower North Shore remain open, following the first confirmed in the region. Mr. Joycey shares information with the parents about the following:
- The CSSSL protocol in place and safety measures for COVID-19
- Directions given to the CSSSL from Public Health
- The Importance of school attendance during the pandemic
Listen to the interview with Mr. Joycey by clicking on the sound file below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 24, 2020 - Interview with Dr. Isabelle Samson of Public Health
CFBS was speaking this afternoon with Dr. Isabelle Samson of Public Health. Some of the topics covered in the interview today were:
- Why screening and isolation is not mandatory;
- How epidemiological investigations are carried out;
- Situations of contact that would be considered as high risk;
- Why schools are currently not closed in communities with COVID;
- The transmission of the virus;
- The screening process on the Lower North Shore.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Samson by clicking on the sound files below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 24, 2020: NORTH SHORE – CISSS PRESS BRIEF COVERAGE
A press briefing was held this afternoon by the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord (CISSS de la Côte-Nord) regarding the COVID-19 situation on the North Shore. The press briefing was led by Dr. Richard Fachehoun, medical specialist in public health and preventive medicine, and Mr. Claude Lévesque, interim president and CEO of the CISSS de la Côte-Nord. Mr. Levesque was in attendance by zoom from the hospital in Blanc-Sablon.
Dr. Richard Fachehoun stated that since the beginning of November, there have been 29 confirmed cases on the North Shore territory of COVID. At the present day, there are 17 active cases and 3 hospitalizations. One case has now been confirmed on the Lower North Shore, related to travel from outside the region, this person is currently in isolation as well as any contacts. There will be a total of 2 screenings given in a 14 day period to those in isolation.
Dr. Richard Fachehoun reminds the population of the importance of respecting the privacy of anyone confirmed of having COVID-19, giving them support, and to not have any more community discrimination. For that reason, the CISSS de la Côte-Nord will not be giving any more information relating to the confirmed COVID case on the Lower North Shore. If you travel, it is strongly reminded that you follow entry protocol when coming to the region and respect voluntary isolation.
For the upcoming holiday season, the CISSS would like to recommend shopping early, buying online, and at local retailers. Dr. Fachehoun noted that the best gift to give family and friends is not to transmit the virus. The population is reminded that the voluntary self isolation dates as mentioned in the province's "moral contract" begin on December 17th to the 23rd, then 4 days of holiday gatherings will be allowed with a maximum of 2 gatherings with 10 people per gathering, followed by a voluntary self isolation on December 27th to January 4th. "Do not participate in gatherings if you have symptoms of COVID" added Dr. Facheoun.
Claude Lévesque, interim president and CEO of the CISSS de la Côte-Nord, extended his thanks to the Lower North Shore for their great collaboration in following the guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as thanks to the employees of the establishment for their commitment and dedication to their work.
"Every Person in Every Village has a Responsibility" Warden Randy Jones Speaks on the Recent Confirmation of 1 COVID CASE on the LNS
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 23, 2020 - Warden Randy Jones of the MRC speaks to the LNS
CFBS was speaking this afternoon with the Warden of the MRC du Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent, Mr. Randy Jones, about the recent confirmation of 1 case of COVID-19 on the Lower North Shore in the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon. Mr. Jones speaks about a recent meeting that had taken place between elected officials of the North Shore asking the government and public health to have the region closed, also a request to have the Canadian Rangers deployed again on the Lower North Shore, as well as the continued fight to have mandatory testing in the region.
Listen to the interview with Warden Randy Jones by clicking on the sound files below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
Border Security to begin on November 25th at the L'anse au Clair/Blanc-Sablon border as well as New Travel Restrictions
LOCAL NEWS – NOVEMBER 23, 2020: Border Security to Return Decides Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Travel Restriction Directives Given
Many questions were raised on social media today following a Facebook post by Lisa Powell-Dempster, MHA for Cartwright/L'Anse au Clair at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, stating that "24 hour border patrol going back up at L’Anse au Clair/Blanc Sablon. Travel will be for essential reasons only. This measure is being put in place for the safety of our residents".
CFBS was speaking this afternoon with Chad Letto, the Mayor of L'anse au Clair and Chair Person for the Combined Councils of Labrador, to get more information on the border security that will be in place and what this will mean for traffic on both sides of border. Mr. Letto was speaking with Lisa Powell-Dempster this afternoon, and the following is the details that he shared with CFBS:
- Border security will begin on Wednesday November 25, 2020
- For now, this will be in place for a 2 week period
- Security will be in place on a 24 hour rotation
- Details are still being discussed regarding what will be approved traffic at the check point
Mr. Letto stated that it is his hope that it will be more of a monitoring situation, to record the destination of traffic from both sides of the border, to have ease of tracking should a case occur from someone who had crossed over into the Labrador communities. However, Mr. Letto did say that there are concerns within his government regarding the non-mandatory requirement of isolation within the province of Quebec, where as at this time it is a recommendation but not obligatory.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND DIRECTIVES FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR
In an email sent to Mr. Letto this afternoon, which he shared with CFBS, the following is the updated ferry travel restrictions and directives now being put into effect:
- Residents of Quebec who wish to travel across the Strait of Belle Isle to Newfoundland can do so only if they have an exemption letter allowing them to travel;
- Labradorians who travel to Newfoundland on the ferry across the Strait of Belle Isle are not required to isolate for two weeks;
- Labradorians who cross the border into Quebec on their way to the ferry terminal are required to remain in their vehicles until they board the ferry;
- Similarly, ferry passengers travelling across the Strait of Belle Isle from Newfoundland are required to remain in their vehicles from the time they depart the ferry until they cross the border into Labrador.
Schools to Remain Open on the Lower North Shore for the Time Being in Light of 1 Confirmed COVID Case
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 23, 2020 - CSSL Schools Remain Open on the LNS
CFBS received questions from our listeners regarding if the schools will be closing temporarily in light of the recent 1 case of COVID-19 confirmed in the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon. Speaking by email this morning with the Administrator of the Centre de Services Scolaire du Littoral, Philip Joycey, he had this to say regarding the situation:
"I fully understand the concern of parents; however, as is outlined in the Centre de Service Scolaire du Littoral’s Covid protocol our decisions will be guided by Sante Public. A clear statement was issued by Marlène Joseph-Blais, person responsible for communications for the CISSS de la Cote Nord, yesterday which gave no indication that our schools should be closed.
We have been vigilant in our efforts to maintain COVID procedures in all of our buildings along the coast and will continue to do so. The Centre de Service Scolaire du Littoral is committed to keeping our clientele and community at large, safe during this period and we will be following the recommendation of Sante Quebec in this regard.
Rest assured that we will be monitoring the situation closely with the support of Sante Quebec and will act in the best interest of all concerned." - Administrator of the Centre de Services Scolaire du Littoral, Philip Joycey
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 22, 2020 - The First Case of COVID-19 Has Just Been Confirmed on the LNS
CFBS was made aware today of rumours circulating on the Lower North Shore of a possible COVID-19 case in the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon. Speaking this afternoon with the Mayor of the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon, Wanda Beaudoin, she had just received confirmation that there is 1 confirmed case of the virus in her municipality.
* Listen to the interview with Mayor Beaudoin by clicking on the sound files below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
After the interview with Mayor Beaudoin this afternoon, I received this information by email from Marlène Joseph-Blais, communications for the CISSS de la Cote Nord:
"We have registered a confirmed COVID-19 case in Blanc-Sablon. Testing was carried out as part of the entry management program for isolated areas. The individual had no signs nor symptoms of the disease and was immediately placed in isolation in his personal home.
The epidemiological investigation is under way. Close contacts have been identified and told to self-isolate. They are monitored by public health authorities.
The situation will be monitored very closely in the next two weeks. The risk of transmission in the local community remains low. No contact has been identified with Air transportation." - Marlène Joseph-Blais, communications for the CISSS de la Cote Nord
Reminders for the Population
It is understandable that there are some people who are concerned with this first confirmed COVID case of a resident of our region. Please keep in mind that it is of the upmost importance that everyone follow public health guidelines; hand washing, sanitizing, wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting the amount of outside contact that you have, especially in regards to social gatherings. And please remember, above all, to be kind to one another. CFBS will continue to follow all developments in this story.
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 19, 2020 - Something Smells Great in the Ecole Mgr-Scheffer Kitchen!
Les Brigades Culinaires is a new cooking class being offered to the high school students at Ecole Mgr-Scheffer! And the students seem to be having an amazing time cooking with Chef Paulette!
Les Brigades Culinaires is an extra-curricular program offered in high schools, which reaches young people aged from 12 to 17 through workshops on basic cooking techniques and healthy eating habits. This program is currently present in 175 schools in Quebec and more than 20 others everywhere in Canada! Already on the Lower North Shore, the schools in Gros Mecatina and St. Paul's have participated.
At Ecole Mgr-Scheffer, 13 students are a part of the program and have met 3 times so far to learn cooking skills every Tuesday for approximately 2 hours. The students can enjoy their delicious creations, or bring samples home, and sometimes lucky staff in passing by get to taste their culinary treats as well. The students have already mastered chocolate fondue, fruit spring rolls, and soup. The recipes are decided by the program and teaches the basic skills of cooking, with an increased level of difficulty each time, and the fun of washing dishes of course!
Many thanks to Sarah Iris Foster for sharing info with CFBS about this awesome program, we wish all the students much fun in their cooking adventure!
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 18, 2020 - Townsfolk Studio Welcomes Lower North Shore Talent
Music is something we hold near and dear to our heart and a part of our culture on the Lower North Shore. CFBS was speaking today to Tony Gallichon, the owner and producer at the newly created Townsfolk Studio in La Tabatière, about the studio and the CD that was produced there called "Townsfolk Presents ..... The Talent Show". On sale now just in time for Christmas, the CD is $20, all proceeds following production costs are going to the Maison Gros Mecatina Senior's home! This awesome CD can be found locally at:
* Chez Nellie's in Old Fort
* St. Paul's General in St. Paul's
* Depanneur Roger Jones in Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon
* Station Service in Blanc-Sablon
If you are living in the Gros Mecatina region, or if you plan to visit the area in the future, and have interest in recording a song in a real studio, you need to stop by Townsfolk Studio in La Tabatière. Tony has taken his love of music to the next level, giving talent of young and old a chance to record, we expect to hear many more great Lower North Shore talent to come from Tony's studio in the years to come.
Listen to the interview with Tony Gallichon by clicking on the sound files below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 3, 2020 - Lower North Shore Passengers from flights on Oct 26, 27 & 28 to be contacted and tested
The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de la Côte-Nord held a press briefing for the North Shore territory this afternoon. Dr. Richard Fachehoun, of the Department of Public Health at the CISSS de la Côte-Nord shared new information regarding an airline employee who tested positive for COVID-19 on the Lower North Shore. The employee was present on flights between Québec and several municipalities of the Lower North Shore on October 26th, 27th and 28th. This person is currently self-isolating in their home, outside the region.
In light of new information received during the epidemiological investigation, the CISSS also stated in a press release this afternoon that all passengers who were on the flights concerned will be contacted and tested this week. The passengers in question can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment for a screening test. As COVID-19 is spread mainly through close unprotected contact with a case over a sustained period of time, the CISSS de la Cote Nord states that the risk for these passengers remains low.
The CISSS de la Côte-Nord continues to meet with the chiefs of the indigenous communities and elected officials of the Lower North Shore to keep them informed of this situation, which is very closely monitored by public health authorities.
In order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, it is important to follow these measures at all times:
Wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds, using soap and warm water, or use an
Wear a mask or face covering in public places;
Stay two metres away from other people;
A person who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 can call 1 877 644-4545 for an evaluation
of their condition, and an appointment for a screening test.
It was also stated by Dr. Richard Fachehoun, of the Department of Public Health, that although the situation on the North Shore territory remains stable, we may expect to live with the virus for the next several months.
The Epidemiological Survey Continues Following New Information of the COVID Case of an Employee Who Was Working on the Lower North Shore
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 3, 2020 - Investigation of the COVID case of an employee working on the LNS territory continues .......
The epidemiological survey of the positive case of COVID-19 of an airline employee who was working in the region continues following new information made aware to Public Health, CFBS learned this morning from our Mayor, Wanda Beaudoin. CFBS will be attending the press briefing this afternoon to inquire on what this may mean for those in possible contact.
The CISSS de la Cote-Nord announced on Sunday November 1st in a press release that the employee was working on flights between Québec and Blanc-Sablon during the last week. This person is currently self-isolating at their home outside of the region. The four people who had contacts with this airline employee passed a screening test on Saturday, which returned negative. Those who had significant contacts with the employee must respect strict self-isolation measures in their homes.
At the time of the press release, the CISSS de la Cote also stated that it was evaluated by public health that passengers of the flights concerned have a negligible risk of having contracted COVID-19. The CISSS de la Côte-Nord is in contact with elected officials of the Lower North Shore, and the situation is very closely monitored by public health. The epidemiological survey is ongoing.
More to come .......
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 3, 2020 - MAYOR WANDA BEAUDOIN GIVES AN UPDATE TO THE POPULATION REGARDING THE RECENT COVID CASE OF AN AIRLINE PILOT AND UPDATES ON MUNICIPAL FILES
CFBS was speaking today to Mayor Wanda Beaudoin regarding the CISSS de la Cote Nord announcement of a COVID case of an employee who works for an airline that was on the Lower North Shore last week. As well, we received an update from Mayor Beaudoin on home assessments and the nuisance bylaw.
Listen to the interview with Mayor Beaudoin by clicking on the sound files below (click on the speaker icon next to the sound file and a media player will open up to hear the interview).
LOCAL NEWS - NOVEMBER 2, 2020 - Winter Tire Deadline is December 1st in Quebec
The Ministère des Transports is reminding owners of motorized road vehicles registered in Quebec that they must be equipped with winter tires, no later than December 1. In the context of a pandemic, motorists are encouraged to plan the installation of their tires now in order to be ready to face the winter season.
The mandatory winter tire installation date, December 1, notably allows better adaptation to changing and unpredictable weather conditions and provides greater safety for road users.
This obligation applies to any motorized road vehicle registered in Quebec other than a heavy vehicle, a tool vehicle or an agricultural machine. It also applies to any rental vehicle regardless of its place of registration. The owners, like the lessors of these vehicles, must comply with the obligation for the period from December 1, 2020 to March 15, 2021. Anyone who contravenes the regulations would commit an offense and would be liable to a fine ranging from $ 200 to $ 300.
The Ministère des Transports also reminds that when purchasing winter tires, consumers are advised to consult a specialist dealer to ensure they are choosing a quality product that meets their needs. Remember that a tire designed for winter driving is a tire on which the official pictogram is affixed or a tire fitted with studs and used in accordance with the Regulation respecting the use of anti-skidding on the tires of certain road vehicles.