LOCAL NEWS – MAY 13, 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.
Coasters have been asking if there is a date set for the opening up of the Lower North Shore check points, especially since the Premier began giving dates for the lifting some road blocks this month. At the CISSS de la Côte-Nord press briefing today, it was stated that Public Health has extended dates for the road check points in Blanc-Sablon, Kegaska, Sacré-Coeur, and Tadoussac, until at least May 31st. The roadblock east of Sept-Îles will be moved to Kegaska by Friday, opening up the Minganie MRC.
This decision that was announced this afternoon by Deputy Director General, Dyane Benoît, was approved earlier this morning by most of the elected leaders of the Côte-Nord. For the Lower North Shore, the date of lifting the control points remains undetermined. All residents are asked to continue the integration of social distancing measures, and to avoid any gatherings outside of household units.
The importance of wearing an artisanal mask in public settings was also discussed, especially in situations where a person cannot respect the social distancing of 2 meters. To do shopping, if wearing an artisanal mask, it can give better protection to you and those around you. Hand washing and and social distancing cannot be stressed enough, those with any symptoms are reminded to call 1-877-644-4545.
Dr. Richard Facheoun, medical consultant to the CISSS de la Côte-Nord, also gave an an update regarding a new COVID-19 case confirmed on the North Shore today in MRC of Sept-Rivières. It has been two weeks that the North Shore had no new cases announced, until today. Although it is important to note that with the opening of regions, the CISSS had already stated that a reemergence of cases could be expected. Of the 114 confirmed cases currently on the North Shore, 109 are cured as of today, leaving only 5 active cases in the region. Residents of the Lower North Shore can expect to see increased COVID testing in the coming days, as the CISSS plans to increase testing in isolated areas throughout the North Shore. The goal is to watch the spread of the virus. The testing will take place in schools, workplaces and the penitentiary as well.
Caregivers were also mentioned in the press brief today, caregivers are reminded to watch their health for symptoms of COVID-19, and should they feel ill, to not present themselves at their post. To answer questions from the population about family caregivers integration into family work areas, you are invited to call 1-833-677-6243.
With the fact that the Lower North Shore has had 0 COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic, many local residents have been asking CFBS to inquire if some restrictions could be lifted within the Lower North Shore territory, like possibly allowing small social gatherings of 5 people, or if seniors could have some of their restrictions lifted, like a visit from a family member. The response to this question today from Dr. Ricahrd Facheoun is: “We are currently evaluating several options and as soon as a decision is made it will be communicated to the provincial level very quickly.”
Information was also requested by CFBS regarding those who travel off the territory. For example: If you live in a household with a person who has just traveled to say, Quebec City, the traveler is being asked to isolate upon return. But, the other members of the household who did not travel are not required to isolate as well. This leaves many questions as to why the whole household unit does not need to isolate.
Dr. Facheoun stated that isolation after returning from a trip outside of the region is "preventive isolation." So, the other family members who have not traveled do not need to be in solitary confinement. However, if the person in isolation has symptoms, is tested or becomes ill, then the other members will be in isolation as well.