Quiet wave of Covid-19

virus COVID-19 Summer camps, daycares, festivals. Quietly, it seems to have returned to normal in the summer sun that plagues more Quebecers every day.

The Just for Laughs festival is looking to make a big comeback this summer with its concerts June. But the nightmare of the pandemic decided otherwise. The Corona virus Entered the scene just before the media premiere. Everything is postponed.

Postponements at festivals and concert halls are piling up these days, but the scale of this wave of cancellations is hard to gauge.

“This summer’s wave has been very strange,” notes David Laferriere, president of the board of directors of the Professional Association of Show Presenters (RIDEAU). No one wants to put visitors or their staff at risk, but no one wants to lose “the very fragile trust we have with the public,” he underlines. This results in cancellations or postponements of announced shows at will.

In particular, without imposed hygiene measures, the epidemic can be read on tired faces. David Laferrière estimates that only one in twenty spectators will wear a mask inside. “It shows that we are not ready to live with it. »

But the swelling tide is very real. Number of hospitalizations related to Covid-19 Grows for three weeks. An additional 147 people have been hospitalized and 20 have died Recorded on Monday. A recent report released by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) reports a positive rate of 13.8%. Quebec reported on Tuesday that 6,659 health network workers were out of work due to Covid-19, up from 6,285 last Wednesday.

There is Quebec Stopped the infection count, but the increased sensitivity of the cases puts everyone on a bit of a limb. “It could be a technician, it could be a musician. In a theater, an employee who is a contact case, it worries us to death. In an environment of labor shortages, a spread, however limited, would put us in big trouble,” says David Laferriere.

“It’s not an event, but a movement,” says Martin Roy, president and CEO of REMI, a major international event conglomerate. “Here and there” cases leave gaps in programming and add to the headache of a busy schedule. “In the context of a festival, it is very complicated to replace an artist who isolates himself for five or ten days. »

He notes that these silent polluters are “just like any other sector.”

PCR testing in camps?

The presence of the virus is also being felt in Quebec holiday camps. Unable to replace quarantined animators, three temporarily closed their doors and sent the kids home.

“Often, we are able to control the outbreak, but it is not possible to replace the animators”, notes Anne-Frédéric Morin, assistant general manager of the Association des Camps du Québec (ACQ), who adds to the current labor environment. Scarcity doesn’t help. He emphasizes the fact that the ACQ wants to “act early in the summer so as not to affect future weeks,” and it is in this spirit that the association met with Quebec’s National Director of Public Health. DR Boileau, Tuesday morning.

Several options will be considered by public health, such as re-introducing PCR tests upon arrival at the summer camp like last year. It also plans to increase the distribution of rapid tests, modify the decision tree for case management, provide regional public health support to camps and roll back mask-wearing in some contexts, particularly for facilitators.

“We want to make sure the measures are tight enough to prevent the virus from entering the camps,” said Anne-Frédéric Morin. ACQ is not in a position to say the number of infections in the camps, but it is actively working with its members to paint a portrait of the COVID-19 situation, some elements of which will be “relevant to the population. The public” will be broadcast later. .

According to MSSS, settings such as summer camps are not more affected than others, but “reflect the increase in social exchange that we see everywhere,” says media relations coordinator Marie-Claude Lagasse.

No “big” increase

On another matter, during the press conference held on Tuesday, Francois Legault Public health does not expect an increase in the number of cases that could cause problems in hospitals, the beautiful season helps.

However, the Prime Minister asked people to be careful. “We are ready for September because we should see a significant increase in cases when the school year starts,” he said, referring to the vaccination campaign that begins in August.

In order to live better with the virus, it is necessary to inform people about the extent of the spread of Covid-19, argues Nathalie Grandvaux, a researcher at the CHUM Research Center on Viral Respiratory Infections. “You have to provide information so people can adjust their precautions to the level of risk,” he says.

Last week, National Director of Public Health DR Luc Boileau called for those at risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19 “To withdraw the mask” in crowded placesFestivals etc.

Most Quebec festivals are already sold out.

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