In a critical situation and under close public health surveillance, the MRC of Manicuagan, where the North Bank outbreak is concentrated, hopes to avoid a decline to red levels.
Since the start of the pandemic, only 507 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Cote Nord. But since the beginning of the month, more than a quarter, or 143, have been reported. And 72% of those April cases were detected in the MRC of Manicouagan, where three quarters of the population live in Baix Como.
“The situation in Manicouagan is critical,” said Director of Public Health at the North Shore Integrated Center for Health and Social Services (CISSS), D.R Richard Fachehoun at a press briefing Tuesday morning.
“It is very clear that we are under close scrutiny,” added Quebec’s national director of public health D.R Horacio Arruda, on Cote Nord and Lower Saint Laurent.
Should the situation ever deteriorate further or we do not see a reversal, we will act accordingly.
DR Horacio Arruda
PQ member from the region Martin Ouelle (René-Lévesque) also said that the situation was “alarming” on Tuesday and that he intends to side with the authorities if they decide to place the region in the red zone.
In addition to the outbreak at Bois du Nord primary school in Baie Como, which has resulted in 24 cases since it closed last week, the MRC has four small outbreaks (less than five cases), including two others in high school. , one in the restaurant sector and one in the Baix-Como remand prison.
Almost all of the cases identified in MRC last week are British.
Call for respect
“We lost the battle with the option,” D.R Fachehoun Tuesday.
The increase in cases over the weekend has made traders fearful that they will return to the red mark, according to Antonio Ortaz, president of the Manicuagana Chamber of Commerce. “People sigh a little today to see that we are in the orange zone, but that also motivates them to redouble their efforts. ”
For his part, the mayor of Baie-Como, Yves Montigny, is increasing the number of warnings to the public. Seeing that advertisements bought on local radio stations and social media last week weren’t enough, the city on Tuesday openly provided an emergency call system to the Public Health Service. “If you are in isolation, follow the instructions,” reads an automatic message sent to residents’ phones.
We ask citizens to be honest, respect public health guidelines, and not go out in public with a child who has been excluded from the school environment.
Yves Montigny, Mayor of Baie-Como
According to him, traders were upset to find out after they had clients in this situation.
Discussions were held with Sûreté du Québec to strengthen the police presence, but with a population of about 30,000 in a 34,000 km MRC.2, “We must appeal to the integrity of citizens.”
“Don’t hide in a chalet, it doesn’t make sense, you are putting the health of the entire population of the North Coast at risk,” said the Mayor of Baix-Como.
However, its citizens can pull themselves together and take responsibility “without taking additional measures,” he said. “The people of the North Coast are proud people who built a region that for many was completely uninhabitable,” said Mr Montigny.