Region to hit 500 cases, 13 deaths, one still in intensive care
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Outaouais continues to rise, with positive cases reaching almost 500 in the region. Since the start of the pandemic, 272 people (55.6 per cent of cases) in the region have recovered from the virus, according to the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO). On May 25, 13 people were hospitalized, with one of them requiring intensive care. With the majority of cases originating in Gatineau’s urban territory, 75 people in rural areas have also been infected.
The MRC de Papineau has had 49 cases; the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais has seen 20; and, the MRC de Pontiac and the MRC de-la-Vallée-de-la-Gatineau have both had five or fewer so far. There are still more than 200 active cases in the region and 13 people have died from the virus. With 81 of CISSSO’s health care employees having been infected, the virus has also seen outbreaks in four of the region’s long-term care facilities (CHSLD), with more than 50 cases. Three of these facilities are presently experiencing an outbreak.
Since high school students missed their graduation ceremonies because of the pandemic, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that two actors from the province – Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse and Pier-Luc Funk – will host a virtual graduation celebration on Télé-Québec on June 19, during a press conference on the same date.
Continuing the gradual resumption of economic activities, the Quebec Government announced that shopping malls and businesses providing health, body and aesthetic care services outside of Montreal will be allowed to re-open starting on June 1. Those include pet grooming services, the therapeutic care sector, oral and dental care and the personal care and beauty sector.
With plenty of hot weather on the horizon, Legault assured that the government would do everything they can to provide the necessary resources to help CHSLD residents deal with the heat. Legault explained that, since arriving in office in 2018, his team has been working to implement a budget of around $30 million dedicated to put in place “climatized zones” in the province’s long-term care facilities. He noted that 97 per cent of the province’s CHSLD’s at least had climatized zones, where residents could get more fresh air.
Legault said one of his goals, which will take many years, was to eventually place CHSLD residents in seniors’ homes where all rooms are climatized. He added that there was still plenty of work to be done on the matter. Those showing COVID-19 symptoms are urged to call the Quebec Services designated phone line – 1-877-644-4545 or 1-819-644-4545 – to set up an appointment for a screening test.