Increase in COVID-19 cases in Chaudière-Appalaches

COVID-19 has been spreading for a week in Chaudière-Appalaches. The Thetford region has the second worst record in the province, with a rate of 195.5 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, almost on par with Laval, according to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ). Beauce does not do much better, with a rate close to that of Ahuntsic – Montréal-Nord. Regional public health says it is “concerned”.

The surge in cases in the region began on September 7. For three days, around fifty new infections were detected daily, according to the INSPQ. The rise has continued since then, but in a somewhat less marked fashion.

The Regional Directorate of Public Health claims to be “concerned” by the “constant increase” in infections in the MRCs of Beauce-Sartignan, Appalaches (which includes Thetford) and Etchemins. She says she hopes for the “deployment, within two to three weeks, of rapid screening tests in schools.” Since September 10, the wearing of a mask is compulsory at all times in the schools of these three RCMs.

According to Regional Public Health, 70% of current cases come from community transmission and 30% from outbreaks. “These outbreaks are taking place mainly in school settings, [centres de la petite enfance] and workplaces ”, specifies the spokesperson for the CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches, Mireille Gaudreau.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 remains low for now: four, and none in intensive care. The region, however, deplored two new deaths on Tuesday.

Local hospitals are monitoring the situation closely. “We expected it, it was a little expected with the start of the school year that there was going to be an increase in cases”, says the Dre Christine Drouin, head of the intensive care unit at Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis. Still, this jump in cases could have repercussions in hospitalizations over the next two weeks, she admits. “But apart from encouraging people to get vaccinated, I don’t have much I can do to help us in that regard,” the doctor concludes.

If necessary, hospitals in the Capitale-Nationale region could accommodate patients from Chaudière-Appalaches, according to Dr.r Mathieu Simon, head of the intensive care unit at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec. But we are far from being there. “For the moment, the increase in hospitalizations is a problem in Montreal,” he observes. The other regions of Quebec are relatively spared. “

However, the CIUSSS de la Mauricie et du Center-du-Québec is concerned about the increase in hospitalizations in its region. These have gone from two last week to nine as of Tuesday (including five in intensive care).

The majority of patients who ended up in hospital were not adequately vaccinated, reports the CIUSSS. As of September 12, six patients, out of the 19 hospitalized for COVID-19 since the start of the fourth wave, were doubly vaccinated, specifies his spokesperson Guillaume Cliche. “The vast majority of these six patients had some other health condition, co-morbidities,” he adds.

An effect ” Maxime Bernier ?

The professor at the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal, Roxane Borgès Da Silva, believes that the progression of COVID-19 in Chaudière-Appalaches is mainly linked to the start of the school year, the return to work as well as to local immunization coverage.

The proportion of citizens adequately vaccinated varies greatly from one sector to another, according to the CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches: 66% in Beauce-Sartigan and Robert-Cliche; 67% in Etchemins; 77% in Lévis and Montmagny, as of September 12.

Roxane Borgès Da Silva thinks there is also a Maxime Bernier “effect”. The head of People’s Party of Canada, who opposes vaccination against COVID-19, is a candidate in Beauce. “If we have a politician who is against vaccination and who has an aura and an understanding of the community, that will most certainly influence the population not to go for the vaccine and not to adopt safe and preventive behaviors (mask , distancing, etc.) ”, she believes.

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