The explosion in the number of COVID-19 cases in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is having an impact on the progress of epidemiological investigations.
People in contact with positive cases told TVA Nouvelles that they waited more than a week before receiving the call from public health and the instructions to follow.
“There is catching up to do, that’s clear,” admitted Wednesday the regional director of public health, Dr. Donald Aubin.
The speed at which the virus spreads within the community has a direct impact on investigation times.
“People investigating first prioritize cases confirmed positive by a test,” said Dr Aubin.
He also suggests to people who have been in contact with a positive case not to wait for the call from public health before starting to warn people around them.
“On Wednesday, we had 40 groups in isolation all over the place,” he said. That’s a lot and we can’t call 800 to 1000 people in the hours that follow, it’s impossible. ”
About fifty workers will join the investigation team in the coming hours. They were in training on Wednesday.
Before the pandemic, the public health investigation team numbered four people.
They will soon be more than 200.
Three thousand people are currently in isolation in the region.
Dr Donald Aubin admits the challenges are great. “The system is not losing control,” he said. We are able to provide the services, but the pressure is important. ”
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean recorded 198 new cases on Wednesday. This is the highest number in the province, after Montreal.
Three additional deaths are added to the regional toll for a total of 68.