An employee who would have come into contact with a traveler from abroad would have infected with a variant of COVID-19 residents of a retirement home in the Quebec City region, at a time when Public Health expects this that these new strains soon represent half of the cases in the territory.
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Currently, nine residents, three less than at the start of the week, and an employee of the Sélection Retraite Saint-Augustin residence are fighting COVID-19. The outbreak began on February 15.
The contaminated employee, according to information obtained by The newspaper, is said to be suffering from a variant of COVID-19.
The CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale clearly suspects the presence of a variant. But for reasons of confidentiality, it does not give any details on the origin of the transmission or if the sick employee is affected by one of the variants.
“Confirmation takes 10 to 12 days, but when we say suspected, we are more than 90% sure. We currently find them in all circles, because they circulate on the territory. The situation is very well controlled ”, explains Dr Jacques Girard, medical assistant to the director of public health at the CIUSSS.
“We are now doing the screening tests (to identify the presence of a variant) in a systematic way. Currently, variants represent 12 to 15% of cases. But some hypothesize that within a month we end up with 50% of variants because they are transmitted more easily, ”says Dr.r Girard.
However, it is reassuring about the effectiveness of current vaccines against the three variants identified in Canada.
“The effectiveness may be slightly reduced, but overall it is obvious that there is an immune response. Other immune mechanisms will make the difference. For the three variants that are monitored, vaccination is important. “
The vaccination at the Saint-Augustin residence took place on February 24, during the outbreak.
The employee who suffers from the variant could have been infected by a person living under the same roof who had recently returned from a trip abroad, which the CIUSSS did not want to comment on either.
“Anyone arriving from abroad by plane must self-isolate for 14 days. Even if your test is negative when you get on the plane, even if it is after the three days at the hotel, ”insists the Dr Girard.
“The offender can face a fine of $ 750,000 and six months in prison. What some people don’t understand is that if they don’t quarantine on their own, if it is not possible to isolate themselves in housing, they take their loved ones with them. Relatives must then do the same quarantine. If there are children, they cannot go to school, ”he said.
However, a worker living under the same roof as a person who does not perform his quarantine properly does not a priori expose himself to sanctions.