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Regional Update: Four new COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths


CARLETON –The Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands Public Health Board is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the regional total to 66.

Out of that total, 39 cases are linked to the Manoir du Havre outbreak in Maria. Two residents of that private home for seniors have died as a result of that outbreak. There are also 143 people in quarantine so far, in connection with that outbreak says Dr. Iv Bonnier-Viger, director general of the Public Health Board.

He notes that five people from the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized in Quebec City

Meanwhile, two more employees of the E. Gagnon et Fils crab processing plant in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé have tested positive for the coronavirus. They were not among those quarantined after the first employee received a positive test on April 4.

A fisherman’s helper working on one of the company’s boats has also tested positive. The plant, which was supposed to resume production on April 8 is now closed for a longer period.

“It will be closed for at least a week. Crab fishing in zone 12 (the Southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence) is delayed a bit. It will be stormy over the weekend and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada call for the season opening will only take place on April 13. It cannot start less than 72 hours after the call and at least 48 additional hours are needed to land crab. That puts us on the 18th of April, best case scenario. By then, the plant will have been closed for two weeks and the new coronavirus cases resulting from the people who are currently infected will be known. I would like more people to be tested though,” explains E. Gagnon et Fils Vice President Bill Sheehan.

In Rivière-au-Renard, the Entreprises maritimes Bouchard shipyard posted on its facebook page that one of its employees has also tested positive for the COVID-19 and that boat building activities will be stopped for two weeks.

Dr. Bonnier-Viger points out that with the arrival of milder spring days, people are tempted to get together on the region’s wharves. “It is okay to go, but the two-metre distance must still be respected. It is the equivalent of two arm lengths.” He also stresses that house cleaning duties carried out by employees of specialized businesses and non-profit organizations can be delayed when the house occupants are aged 70 or more, since the house cleaning staff goes from one house to another. “Logic dictates that minimal maintenance can be done without the use of attendants.”