Public health issues appeal for caution

By Gordon Lambie

In his weekly update on the COVID-19 situation in the Estrie Region, regional public health director Dr. Alain Poirier encouraged the public to look at reporting on cases in school and local businesses carefully so as not to cause panic. While he acknowledged that the start of the new school year has resulted in a number of cases being detected in local schools, he pointed out that, to-date, all of these cases have been individuals who contracted the virus outside the schools and not outbreaks.
“Cases are most often spread in family environments,” Poirier said, stressing the fact that the public health department actively investigates all positive cases and those individuals deemed to be at medium or high risk are contacted directly.
While steps are being taken to improve the capacity of the regional testing centres, the public health director discouraged people who are asymptomatic from going to get tested so that more people who know they are sick can check whether they have the virus.
That being said, however, Poirier did recommend that anyone who visited the La Microdistillerie bar on Meadow Street on September 4 go get tested. To date nine cases have been tied to an event at that business.
With regard to the ongoing situation at the Lambton long-term care home, the total number of cases associated with that outbreak rose to 30 on Monday: 13 staff and 17 residents. Poirier said that another round of testing is scheduled to take place today.
There were 12 new cases reported across the Estrie region on Monday and the region will maintain its yellow “pre-alert” status this week.
“It’s a wake-up call” the public health director said, encouraging people to take public health directives seriously. “If you don’t want your favourite places to be closed, then respect the regulations.”
Across the province there were no new deaths, hospitalizations, or patients in intensive care, but the number of confirmed cases climbed by 276. Testing numbers have consistently been above 20,000 since September 9.
Anyone concerned about their own health or wondering if they or a loved one should get tested is encouraged to call the phone line: 1 877 644-4545.

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