Coronavirus: The Outaouais health centers prepare
Article published on 12 March 2020
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The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais expresses its readiness to face the first case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the region. According to the organization’s public health consultant, Dr. Carol McConnery, it’s only a matter of time before a case is confirmed in the Outaouais:

A first case was identified in Ottawa Wednesday, but still none in the Outaouais thus far.

The Director of Technical Services and Logistics at CISSS de l’Outaouais, Stéphane Pleau, explained how the region is preparing to face the virus.

Since January, COVID-19 has spread throughout 114 countries, including Canada. The virus most often spreads by close contact with an infected person when a person coughs or sneezes, or when contact with infected surfaces and then with the mouth, nose or eyes. The identified symptoms are a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Symptoms may be mild, similar to a cold, or more severe such as those associated with pneumonia and pulmonary or renal failure.

In general, coronaviruses do not survive long on an object, about 3 hours on objects with dry surfaces or 6 days on objects with wet surfaces. The best way to reduce the risk of spread is through basic hygiene measures such as:

• Washing your hands regularly with running warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds;
• Using an alcohol-based disinfectant if you do not have access to soap and water;
• Observe the rules of hygiene when coughing or sneezing such as coughing into the elbow;
• Avoid bringing your hands to your mouth, eyes and nose.

The CISSS de l’Outaouais is taking the situation seriously and is ready to react to future cases that may arise in the region. The Operational Committee in charge of monitoring the situation is active and has the mandate to respond in particular to the following responsibilities:

• Apply ministerial directives and ensure access to professionals;
• Determine service trajectories for patients with symptoms.
• Ensure rigorous management of the inventory of personal protective equipment and a
coordination of N95 mask tests.
• Inform the population and staff about the situation surrounding COVID-19

To learn more about the new strain of coronavirus, the public is invited to consult: quebec.ca/coronavirus.

Anyone with concerns related to symptoms should first contact 811.
For anyone with concerns related to COVID-19 can contact Services Québec at
following information line: 1-877-644-4545.

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