Update presented by Christine Petawabano, Vice-Chair of CBHSSJB
The second wave of the pandemic continues to hit Quebec hard in several regions. The number of COVID-19 cases reported is climbing. This puts tremendous pressure on the health care system in general. Governments around us are considering further restrictions to contain the spread of infection.
In Eeyou Itchee we continue to do well to keep COVID-19 out of our communities while protecting our most vulnerable community members. I am happy to report that the 16th case of COVID-19 reported for our region has fully recovered. This is a person who contracted the virus in a hospital in Montreal. We wish them well.
We have heard a lot of talk in the last two weeks of an eventual vaccine for COVID-19. This is good news for all of us. But we don’t know how long it will take before a vaccine is available in Eeyou Istchee. We may have to wait several months, or more. This will be a challenging time for everyone, as we all feel the fatigue of restrictions imposed on our lives and activities.
Update on COVID-19 cases in Region 10
Our public health team continues to support public health in Region 10 (Chibougamau/Chapais) in its work related to several COVID-19 cases reported earlier this month.
The number of cases is slowly increasing in Region 10 (Chibougamau/Chapais) as a result of contact tracing done for several COVID-19 cases reported earlier this month. Screening tests have offered in our communities.
Public Health in Region 10 is working to reduce the spread of infection from people there who tested positive. At this point in time there is no evidence of community transmission in Chibougamau. We are waiting for further test results. We are monitoring this situation in Chibougamau and Chapais very closely, as our inland communities rely on these towns for essential services, work and school.
There are new limits on social gatherings and activities in Chibougamau/Chapais, now that Region 10 has moved into a “orange zone” under Quebec’s map of risks. This increase in the alert level in Region 10 aims to reduce social contacts, to help limit the spread of any active cases of COVID-19.
This does not mean there are any travel restrictions between these towns and Eeyou Istchee. But if you must go to Chapais or Chibougamau, we recommend you limit social interactions, visits with family, visits in other peoples’ homes, and avoid gatherings.
Cree Leadership and the Health Board encourage everyone to be very cautious when travelling to these areas, and limit trips to essential services.
We remind everyone how important it is to respect travel restrictions, and answer questions honestly at your community checkpoints.
The most valuable contribution that people can make is to reduce the size of social circles and the number of social interactions.
If you have medical appointments in Chibougamau, the health board encourages you to go to them, unless you’ve been contacted by your CMC or Wiichihiituwin.
Map of Areas of Risk
Areas of risk include: Any area outside Quebec, except some regions in Northern Ontario.
In Quebec, areas of risk include:
Region 1 – Lower St-Lawrence
Region 2 - Saguenay Lac St-Jean
Region 3 – Quebec Capital
Region 4 – Mauricie and Centre du Québec
Region 5- Estrie
Region 6 – Montreal
Region 7 – Outaouais (Gatineau)
Region 9 – North Shore
Region 11 – Gaspé and Magdalen Islands
Region 12 – Chaudière-Appalaches
Region 13 – Laval
Region 14 – Lanaudière
Region 15 – Laurentians
Region 16 – Montérégie
And any Hydro-Quebec site
If you travel to and from a mining site, please consult the Cree Nation Government website or your local PSO and leadership for the latest information.
The following regions are considered safe for travel (don’t require self-isolation):
Region 8 - Abitibi Temiscamingue
Region 10 - Nord-du-Quebec **except for Radisson, which is an area of risk**
Region 17 - Nunavik
Region 18 - Eeyou Istchee
In Northern Ontario: Porcupine and Timiskaming (including Timmins, Moosonee and North Bay) are considered as safe for travel.
You can find the latest version of the Map of Areas of Risk on the Cree Nation Government website at cngov.org.
We want to remind everyone to be careful if you are planning a trip outside Eeyou Istchee. Think about how you will spend your time when you’re there. You’re only as safe as what you decide to do.