COVID-19: the snowbirds will increase the number of cases

COVID-19: les snowbirds feront augmenter le nombre de cas

The massive return of the snowbirds by march 31, is expected to swell dangerously, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec city and elsewhere across the province.

In the National Capital, 33 cases have now been confirmed, compared to 15 in Chaudière-Appalaches. The COVID-19 strike now in all regions, with 3 cases in the Bas-St-Laurent and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

In Quebec, to this day, there are 628 confirmed cases of COVID‐19.

A targeted group

Taking great care not to stigmatize any group, Dr. François Desbiens, director of the department of public health for the CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale region, knows all too well that they are in the hundreds of thousands to return to the United States.

“We expected a rise in cases after the identification process of people returning from travel. It was a matter of time, and the time has arrived. There will be still an increase. ”

In addition to the displacement of the spring break, the second great return of travellers is the one of the snowbirds who return to the country of Uncle Sam.

For this target group, the isolation is immediate and not after you have made purchases at grocery stores and the SAQ.

“It rages in the United States. Our strategy to identify these people, it was the right strategy. We only have two or three weeks to be ultra-vigilant, and it corresponds to the break of the prime minister, ” Dr. Desbiens.

The various models studied by the health authorities, which include a percentage of people who refuse to abide by the guidelines.

“No one has ever 100 %. The higher the better. The current mobilization reassures us, ” says the regional director.

Confidentiality required

In spite of the privacy policy, which is the subject of some criticism, the public health ensures that all people at risk have been contacted.

“We will break that confidentiality when it is required and relevant to the epidemiological investigation and infection control. It identifies the places and people and it calculates the exposure time of close contact, ” said Dr. Desbiens.

At the école secondaire les Etchemins, as well as at the University of Laval, people would have wanted to know more about the person or persons infected.

“Perhaps to make their individual assessment of risk. It is conducive to thoughtless acts, of stigma and of negative consequences. By protecting the confidentiality, it does not prevent us from doing quality work “, he concludes.