Ascot district now up to 56 cases

By Gordon Lambie

In an update on Monday afternoon, regional public health director Dr. Alain Poirier said shared that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the Lambton long-term care home (CHSLD) has grown to ten, (four staff members and six residents) and that the total number of people who have confirmed cases of the virus in Sherbrooke’s Ascot district is now at 56.
On the matter of the outbreak in the CHSLD, Dr. Poirier said that the matter is being treated seriously because of the known risks that infection poses in that environment, but he also said that the institution is following the proper lockdown measures and that all of the staff and residents have now been tested. The infected staff are now in isolation, and the infected residents have been moved to a facility in Sherbrooke.
The public health director said that his department has been able to trace the spread of the virus within the facility, but he declined to comment on the initial cause of the infection in the home.
Although the number of cases confirmed in the Ascot district is clearly of concern, Dr. Poirier denied that the situation is out of control because of the way that the community is responding.
“People are turning out in large numbers to get tested,” he said, characterizing an “out of control” situation as one where people are testing positive and the public does not react. He said that the mobile testing centre set up at the Eglise du precieux sang on Thibault street remains active and added that the testing centre on Murray Street was so busy on Monday morning that there was a two hour wait.
Similar to the situation in Lambton, Dr. Poirier said that the public health department does not consider it necessary at this time to clarify where the cases are concentrated in the district. He did, however, say that the department is considering the implementation of more mobile testing clinics in the near future.
The public health director also took a moment to clarify what he said was some confusion people are experiencing around timelines. Although it comes across as a bit counterintuitive, he explained that an asymptomatic person who has been in a high risk contact with someone confirmed to be infected is required to isolate for 14 days while a person who is sick and symptomatic is only required to isolate for ten. This, he said, is tied to the established understanding of how long each phase of the illness may last: it could take up to 14 days for symptoms to manifest, but once they have, they typically do not last more than ten days.
Asked about whether people in the region are losing steam when it comes to following the rules, Dr. Poirier said that things are still generally going well, but there has been a small but observable number of people expressing resistance to the health directives.
The total number of cases in the province climbed by 140 to 62,352 on Monday, with one additional death. The number of hospitalizations decreased by four to 112, while the number of people in intensive care increased by two to 18.
In the Estrie Region there were 23 new cases reported on Monday, bringing the regional total to 1,249. There is only one person hospitalized because of the virus in the region, but that person is in intensive care.

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