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Regional update: Second COVID-19 death in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands


MARIA: – The death of a second senior citizen attributable to COVID-19 was reported on April 6 by the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands Public Health Board.

Just a day after Gustave Joseph’s death, a woman died at Maria hospital from complications linked to the coronavirus. Before being hospitalized, she too was a resident of the Manoir du Havre in Maria, the only major source of COVID-19 outbreak in the region so far.

The director general of the region’s Public Health Board, Dr. Iv Bonnier-Viger, points out that the victim was suffering from “serious illnesses” prior to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bonnier-Viger is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 in the region, which brings the total to 62. Some of the new cases are people that were identified during the epidemiological investigations triggered at the end of March in connection with the Manoir du Havre outbreak.

According to a count made public on April 5 (Sunday), 39 cases of COVID-19 originated from the Manoir du Havre outbreak.  An updated count specific to that private residence for seniors was not available mid-afternoon on Monday.

Dr. Bonnier-Viger specifies that some of the new cases involve people that were already being followed by the Public Health Board and are not linked with the Manoir du Havre outbreak.

There is consequently still no community transmission of the coronavirus in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands, the origins of the 62 cases have been retraced.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bonnier-Viger cannot confirm how many additional people will be placed in quarantine following the case of an infected employee of the E. Gagnon et Fils snow crab processing plant, located in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé.

The case was confirmed on Saturday and the plant was closed until April 7 inclusively. According to Bill Sheehan, vice-president of E. Gagnon et Fils, “a family link can be made between people that were infected at the Manoir du Havre and the plant employee.”

Dr. Bonnier-Viger explains that “the plant had already adopted the required means to avoid transmission,” and he is therefore “not worried about the resumption of production. Experts looked at the (prevention) measures to be adopted. Those measures were already in place,” he says, referring to the period prior to the positive test of the infected employee.