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August 11, 2020 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Better prepared for a second wave

Premier François Legault announced that the training of new patient attendants in residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs) will ensure that they are better prepared in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 contagion.

“At the moment 8,000 people are being trained and 2,000 others will be training in the fall.

[…] One of the problems during the first weeks of March is that CHSLD employees who were infected were not wearing personal protective equipment and were going from one CHSLD to another. This will no longer be the case,” said the premier.

Upcoming public inquiry

Premier François Legault announced that there will be an inquiry into the management of the pandemic in CHSLDs, but the format and timing of the inquiry have not yet been determined.

“Should the inquiry be conducted before or after the second wave, if it occurs? These are the questions being examined. We’re already learned a lot of lessons. There will be 10,000 people more in CHSLDs and no residents will be transferred from hot zones (with infection) to cold zones (without infection),” he said.

Mr. Legault pointed out that even though Québec’s health institutions had enough personal protective equipment in reserve, some centres did not have anyone in charge of monitoring inventory.

Mobile tracing app

The leader of the Québec government explained that the population is reticent about using a mobile app for cell phones like the one launched by the Government of Ontario to notify people who have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

“Quebecers are divided on this issue,” he said, explaining that the government has conducted surveys on this question.

Mr. Legault said that screening tests are the most important tool in order to quickly identify the epicentres of the outbreak and to locate people who have been in contact with someone infected with the virus.

He also stressed that test results must be given the day after or two days after testing, at the very latest.