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Regional update: COVID-19 total climbs to 43


CARLETON: – The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands increased by two between April 3 and April 4, bringing the total for the region to 43.

An epidemiological investigation is underway to determine how many other individuals were in contact with the two new cases.   “The two cases are linked to people we know (already diagnosed). We don’t have new cases coming from outside (the region),” says Dr. Iv Bonnier-Viger, Regional director of the Public Health Board.

Contrary to what National director of Public Health Dr. Horacio Arruda and Quebec Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbeault said during today’s daily COVID-19 press conference held in Quebec City, there aren’t cases of community transmission in every region of Quebec, points out Dr. Bonnier-Viger. According to him there are not any community transmission cases in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands region.

“It was an oversight (on their part) but in reality, there is not one single case of community transmission in the eight regions that were closed last week,” points out Dr. Bonnier-Viger, who expects such cases eventually.

The two new cases are not related to Maria’s Manoir du Havre outbreak.

That outbreak has generated 28 of the 43 cases identified in the region so far. The 28 cases include the “index case”, the Manoir du Havre employee who unknowingly exposed the seniors’ residence to COVID-19 after a mid-March trip to Quebec City.  That woman is still hospitalized in Quebec City and seven others in Maria.

Meanwhile, the check points in Sainte-Florence and Les Méchins to restrict entrance to the Gaspé Peninsula are not only manned by police officers but also by employees of the Health and Social Services Department. They are tasked with gathering information about the people that are allowed entrance. That information will be relayed to the municipal administration of the communities where those people are going. The municipal authorities will have to verify if those people respect the quarantine measures and if they have someone available to deliver their groceries for the ensuing 14 days.