Red Cross service assistants to reinforce Lac-Mégantic as of Wednesday

A first team of eight people will be assigned to the CHSLD struggling with an outbreak. These people will come to offer care and services to users. A second team of 8 people will follow on Friday 23 October.

Red Cross managers will accompany these teams to lend a hand.

Pascal Mathieu, vice-president of the Canadian Red Cross Quebec, explains however that the Red Cross has already been at work for a few days in Lac-Mégantic. A team of experts in epidemic prevention and control, including some people who have fought the Ebola disease, was urgently deployed on site.

We first do a rapid assessment of the sources of infection, he explains. With the staff in place, we have already made recommendations to reorganize the areas. We then helped them redo the display to make it much clearer. And there, we do a little refresher training to employees who request it.

Pascal Mathieu explains that the case of Lac-Mégantic is far from being an exception.

Since last April, we have had plenty of requests for this type of service.

Pascal Mathieu, Vice-President of the Canadian Red Cross Quebec

So far, 20 users and 12 employees have contracted COVID-19. The CHSLD, which was already facing a shortage of manpower due to the pandemic, asked for reinforcement to support the staff, who have been fighting against the outbreak for a week.

A heavily affected orange area

While the first wave of COVID-19 had only claimed a dozen victims in Lac-Mégantic, the community is this time hit hard. In addition to the Granit Health and Social Services Center, two schools are also affected.

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Despite this, the director of public health in Estrie, Dr Alain Poirier, announced on Monday that he there is no need to increase the measurements and move to the red zone, because public health always has the situation in hand.

That said, elective surgeries requiring hospitalization and medical imaging for Sherbrooke residents wishing to speed up the process are relieved at the CSSS du Granit. In addition, for the moment, outpatient clinics are modulated to respond mainly to priority cases.

For her part, the mayoress of Lac-Mégantic Julie Morin maintains that never gets used to a seizure , but fortunately, mutual aid is very strong in her community.

We have a very mobilized, very tightly knit environment […] the CIUSSS, I called them and offered our premises because we saw that they needed space. I think in a case like this, [on ne peut que] adapt and see what the needs are and if we can meet something.

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