---Covid-19 update, jump in variant numbers, some schools closed due to outbreaks
Marking a rise of 84 cases in less than 24 hours, the number of Covid-19 cases in the Outaouais since the start of the pandemic reached 7,377 on March 28. According to the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), there were 455 active Covid-19 cases in the region at that time.
With 172 deaths in the region so far – five more than last week – it noted that 6,750 people had recovered from the virus. Last week, 18 people were hospitalized, with two requiring intensive care, and 35 of CISSSO’s employees were actively infected. Over the previous week, CISSSO stated to have administered an average of 706 Covid-19 screening tests per day. CISSSO said that Gatineau’s urban core has accounted for the majority of coronavirus cases in the region at this point, with 5,570 cumulative cases and 381 active ones.
The MRC de Papineau has had 822 cases, with 28 active cases; the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau has had 452, with eight active cases; the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais has recorded 420 cases, with 24 active ones; and the MRC de Pontiac has seen 101 cases, with 13 active ones. The origin of 12 cases had yet to be determined.
Since the start of the pandemic, dozens of CISSSO’s health care facilities have experienced outbreaks, including the CHSLD de la Lionel-Émond in Gatineau with 112 total cases, 25 deaths, four active cases, and 82 people recovered; the RPA Chartwell Monastère d’Aylmer with 26 total cases, two deaths, and 24 people recovered; and Résidence la Gappe with 91 total cases, 15 deaths, one active case, and 75 people recovered. Centre de services scolaires des Portages-de-l’Outaouais (CSSPO) Communications coordination Maude Hébert told the Aylmer Bulletin that there are currently 127 active cases in 23 schools in the region –101 students and 22 staff members.
Adding that 46 classes have been temporarily closed, she stated that two schools – l’École Saint-Paul and l’École Internationale du Village – have been shut down for the time being. Along with those two schools, l’École secondaire Grande-Rivière, l’École des Tournesols, l’École Vieux-Verger, and l’École secondaire de l’Île all have five or more active cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CSSPO has accounted for 351 cases – 270 students and 72 staff members.
Western Québec School Board communications consultant François Raymond confirmed one positive case at D’Arcy McGee High School on March 22. Seven more cases were confirmed between then and March 27.
With 48 total cases in all WQSB schools since the beginning of the school year as of March 19, Raymond noted that no classes were in preventative isolation. People wanting to get tested for Covid-19 are encouraged to consult CISSSO’s online self-assessment tool before calling 1-877-644-4545 to set up an appointment within 24 hours. More Covid-19 related information regarding the Outaouais is available on CISSSO’s website - https://cisss-outaouais.gouv.qc.ca/covid-19/.