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Regional update: One new case; migrant workers must quarantine once again


There is one new case of COVID-19 in the Haute-Gaspésie MRC bringing the overall total number of cases in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands to 1762. There are currently 7 active cases and one hospitalization. In addition, according to the INSPQ data, there are two cases of the variant in the region. The regional Public Health department has yet to provide an update regarding any variants.

  • Avignon
    • Active cases: <5
  • Bonaventure
    • Active cases: 0
  • Rocher-Percé
    • Active cases: <5
  • Côte-de-Gaspé
    • Active cases: <5
  • Haute-Gaspésie (+1)
    • Active cases: <5
  • Magdalen Islands
    • Active cases: 0

Regional numbers:

  • Total cases: 1,762
  • Total new cases: 1
  • Active cases: 7
  • Recovered cases: 1,709
  • Total deaths: 46
  • Total hospitalizations: 128
  • Current hospitalizations: 1

As the crab processing season gets underway, management at the E. Gagnon fils processing plant in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé is faced with confirmation that two of the plant’s newly arrived migrant workers have contracted COVID-19. Originally, E. Gagnon et fils expected the arrival of 50 workers, however, several tested positive upon their arrival in the province. Among the 40 workers who were authorized to come to the Gaspé, two developed COVID-19 upon their arrival. All the migrant workers are being quarantined for two weeks and will be tested again on Friday. Those who have tested positive are isolated separately. The setback in workers has created issues for the company, in more ways than one. For one, there is the expense of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the accommodations and salaries of the migrant workers relating to their hotel stay and quarantine. In addition, the company made the decision to reduce production resulting in the inability to supply snow crab to Japan.

Courtesy of Dr. Yv Bonnier Viger, the Director of Public Health, SPEC received a copy of an email sent all Public Health Directors from the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The email mentions that during these unprecedented times, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health is reminded “that this pandemic constitutes a real threat to the health of the population within the meaning of the Public Health Act (CQLR, chapter S-2.2).” The email goes to tell Public Health that when it’s conducting an epidemiological investigation, it has powers relevant to that law. “In particular, section 106 provides, among other things, for ordering the closure of a place or allowing access to it only to certain people or under certain conditions and posting a notice to this effect or ordering the cessation of an activity.” In addition, it is mentioned that “To use these powers, it is not necessary to wait for the epidemiological investigation to be completed.” In other words, if Public Health has good reason to believe that the measures or protocols are not being applied, it may act immediately and finish the tracing afterwards and Public Health is being encouraged to act in such a way in order to prevent certain regions from being shifted to a higher alert level.

The email concludes by saying with the “context of the variants and the fact that organizations have had several months to prepare adequately means that we are now forced to intervene with force. Using your powers at the right time can definitely decrease the spread of COVID-19. In order to harmonize the interventions that will be carried out in all regions, you (Public Health) will soon receive a communication from Dr. Arruda who will specify the procedures to be applied.”

Provincial numbers:

  • Total cases: 318,532
  • Total new cases: 1,168
  • Recovered cases: 297,384
  • Total deaths: 10,701
  • New deaths: +4
  • Current hospitalizations: 514
  • New hospitalizations: +11
  • Total individuals in ICU: 121
  • New individuals in ICU: -2
  • Total vaccinations administered: 1,592,197