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COVID-19 Update with Dr. Fachehoun


​A press briefing was held this afternoon by the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord (CISSS de la Côte-Nord) regarding the COVID-19 situation on the North Shore. The press briefing was led by Ms. Dyane Benoît, the Deputy Director General, Dr. Richard Fachehoun, medical consultant to the CISSS de la Côte-Nord, and Dr. Stéphane Trépanier, Public Health expert.

Ms. Dyane Benoît, Deputy Director General, opened the briefing by speaking about the recent announcement by the Government of Quebec for the planned opening of certain regions of the province. For the North Shore, the planned opening will be on May 18th, Minganie and the Lower North Shore’s control points will remain without an opening date at this time. The CISSS asks that people avoid travel from one region to the other if not essential. Working from home is still encouraged if possible.

Preventative measures are still asked to be respected; such as social distancing of 2 metres, and hand washing. Public gatherings continue to be prohibited, even with the re-opening of regions and nicer weather, we must abstain from this.

With regards to activities resuming with many businesses, the population is invited to visit the website of l'Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) at for proper measures to be put in place for businesses and shops for their re-opening. There are printable checklists and prevention guides for all workplaces. These tools are for employers and employees of all sectors. The CISSS is preparing in the coming days/weeks to support the concerned partners of businesses that will be opening, schools and daycare centres.

The CISSS de la Côte-Nord is counting on the responsibility of all to respect the instructions put in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were no new cases this week on the North Shore, stated Dr. Richard Fachehoun, medical consultant to the CISSS de la Côte-Nord. “You know, it’s true that we have started the progressive adjustments.”

According to Dr. Fachehoun, there will need to be three conditions to optimize results for the progressive adjustments:

  • Listen to the instructions. Wash hands with lukewarm water and soap, use hand sanitizer with an alcohol base, sneeze or cough in the fold of your arm. Respect the distancing of 2 metres from other people, stay home, and avoid unnecessary outings. If you need to go out, wear an artisanal mask.

  • The second condition is all about respecting preventative measures in different settings and how it is set up; such as shops, daycares, schools and workplaces. Everyone will have to respect the measures, this will be very important for all.

  • Finally, increasing the number of screening tests. The CISSS would like to test more and to act faster. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms such as: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of smell, sore throat, or diarrhea, to please call 1-877-644-4545. They will guide you. The more screening tests that are done will let us know what is happening in the communities, then we can correct the situation as quickly as possible.

Dr. Fachehoun would like to remind the population that the actions of individuals is important for limiting the transmission of COVID-19, especially during the adjustment phase. We do not want to risk going backwards.

With the recent announcement by the Government of Quebec of police check points and road blocks beginning to be lifted in the Month of May, CFBS inquired as to what is the position of the CISSS regarding the lifting of road blocks on the Lower North Shore in the near future. Dr. Stéphane Trépanier, Public Health expert, answered that he had spoken with the mayors of the Lower North Shore on Tuesday regarding this. The mayors are requesting that check points and road blocks remain in place. It is the position of the CISSS to continue the points of control on the Lower North Shore and Minganie until May 18th, at which time it will be reassessed if the need should be extended further.

At the last CISSS press brief, CFBS inquired about the services available for mental health in the region, especially with the added stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CISSS had reminded the population of the Info Social 811 telephone service line, but CFBS asked today for clarification if there are follow ups done with callers who contact the Info Social 811 service. Dyane Benoît, the Deputy Director General, stated that there are follow ups done with anyone who contacts the service, and that follow ups are conducted by a psychologist or a social worker.

Abbygail Wellman

CFBS Journalist

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