­Quebecers have ­answered the call

By Matthew McCully

Despite the grim news that the province has reached 20,126 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,041 related deaths, Premier Francois Legault said in the health network and the agricultural sector, Quebecers have answered the call for help. According to Legault, the UPA was overwhelmed with calls from people interested in working on farms this summer in the province. He added that general physicians and specialists as well as nurses and PABs have stepped up to fill 1,000 of the 2,000 vacancies in long term care facilities. The priority remains to focus efforts on CHSLDs, the premier said. Of the 1,041 deaths in Quebec, 850 were people from seniors’ residences.
While there are currently 80 facilities in the province in a ‘difficult’ situation because of the spread of COVID-19, Legault said there are 2,300 facilities (out of 2,600) with no cases. He also said of the 300 where there are cases of COVID-19 infection, 220 have the situation under control. On the supply side, Legault said there is currently a shortage globally of sedatives. There are other treatment options, Legault said, but they are less efficient.
With the COVID-19 infection rate beginning to stabilize, Legault said the government is working on a plan in for a gradual restart of the economy and re-opening of schools in the coming weeks and months.
Legault said it would not be a good idea to send a million kids back to school at the same time in September, explaining that it would create the potential for a second wave of virus spread.
“We will do it slowly,” Legault said, and only with the approval of the public health department.
There are currently 794 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Estrie region. Provincewide there are 1,224 hospitalizations because of the virus with 201 of those patients in intensive care.
For a local breakdown of COVID-19 cases by municipality on the Estrie region visit the website https://www.santeestrie.qc.ca/. So far in Quebec, there are 4,048 confirmed recoveries.

Published in the Wednesday, April 22 edition of The Record.

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