Circulation of a case of COVID-19 in the Pontiac
Municipalities changed their version, but several questions remain unanswered
Article published on 24 March 2020
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After declaring that a case of COVID-19 had circulated in the Pontiac, the municipalities of Mansfield-et-Pontefract and Fort-Coulonge released a new version of their public notice published earlier and retracted the comments made by the mayors at CHIP 101.9.

In this new publication, the municipalities asked to ignore the previous comments and apologize if some people may have been stressed by this event. The two municipalities ask their citizens to be vigilant and to apply the measures introduced by the government.

However, according to information obtained by CHIP 101.9, an apartment block, in which the person presenting symptoms related to COVID-19 would have circulated, has been in quarantine since Sunday. Several rumors have circulated via social media in the past hours that a case of COVID-19 circulated in the Pontiac over the weekend. By mid-afternoon Monday, the municipalities of Fort-Coulonge and Mansfield-et-Pontefract had confirmed the news in a public notice and via the radio.

Following some calls from authorities, including the Sûreté du Québec, the original version was modified. In the first version, it was mentioned that the person who may be a carrier of COVID-19 is in quarantine, but outside the Pontiac. The CHIP 101.9 newsroom has received confirmation that someone has threatened to sue the municipalities if there was no withdrawal from them.

The Warden of the MRC Pontiac, Jane Toller, reminded the importance of hierarchy in communications within the municipal authorities, and affirmed that no case has been officially confirmed in the Pontiac. Like the CISSSO, she mentions that the only reported cases in the Outaouais are found in urban areas. She insisted that the person who traveled in the Pontiac, presenting certain symptoms, is not, according to her, a confirmed case. In fact, there is currently no confirmation whether the person who traveled in the Pontiac was a carrier of COVID-19 or not. No information on the identity of the person has been published in the official communication channels. The CHIP 101.9 newsroom is currently trying to shed light on this matter.

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