Estrie now firmly orange

By Gordon Lambie
Estrie now firmly  orange

With Monday marking a third day out of four where the number of new cases in the Estrie were above 40, Public Health Director Dr. Alain Poirier said that the region is now solidly in the orange. Where the regional director had made a point of qualifying the local alert level as being on “the yellow end of orange” since the official level was increased at the end of the month of September, he said that the status now accurately reflects the reality.
“We are still orange, but a solid orange,” he said.
Alongside 43 new cases, the region had 17 hospitalizations related to COVID-19, two of whom had been transferred from other regions that have met or exceeded their medical capacity. Although there were no new deaths in the region on Monday, Poirier pointed to the significant increase in local mortality in the region over the last week as a grim reminder of the seriousness of the virus. Looking at where the deaths took place, he also noted that it is increasingly clear that seniors in the province’s long-term care homes (CHSLDs) are the population that is at the greatest risk.
Accompanied by Nancy Desautels, Associate Director of Emergency Measures
Public Security and Organizational Issues, Poirier said that although the public health department continues to monitor 38 outbreaks in institutions and businesses as well as one cluster in the Mégantic region, all seem to be under relatively good control.
Asked about what could be causing a rise to more than 40 new cases per day while local outbreaks are deemed “under control,” Poirier said that roughly 30 per cent of public health investigations result in no clear origin for transmission, making it hard to name one particular problem area.
Even with the rise in cases, the public health director pointed out that the majority of people in the Estrie Region have never been sick with COVID-19, and 2,377 of the 2,775 people who have caught the virus have recovered. While on the one hand tis could be seen as good news, the doctor also pointed out that it means the population remains vulnerable.
“We are not immune,” he stressed, arguing that even if the region has done well at following guidelines to date, people should not imagine the area to have some magic resistance to the virus.
Quebec reported 1,037 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday alongside 12 more deaths, including one in the previous 24 hours.
Health officials said hospitalizations increased to 499, three more than the previous day, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by three to 81.
Quebec has reported a total of 108,018 COVID-19 infections and 6,283 deaths linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

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