Gatineau | “We have to get back in hand and things are urgent”

While his city will be “on hiatus” as of Thursday, like those of Quebec and Lévis, the mayor of Gatineau Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin calls on his fellow citizens to “take charge”. For him, slackening and lack of adherence to certain measures partly explain this “perfect storm”.

Posted on 1is April 2021 at 10:29 am

Updated at 11:07 am

Henri Ouellette-Vézina

“People had taken a lot in the last year, and decided to let go. But there, we have to take control and things are urgent, because the figures are quite frightening, ”hammered the elected municipal official at a press conference Thursday morning. This was held a few hours after Quebec announced that the curfew will be resumed to 8 p.m. in the area, while schools and non-essential businesses will have to close their doors until April 12.

For Mr. Pedneaud-Jobin, the situation looks like a “perfect storm”, as the youngest are more and more affected by transmission. On Wednesday, the Outaouais recorded 100 new cases of COVID-19, setting a new high. On Thursday, 126 new infections will be announced, was able to confirm Press, thus shattering the record of the day before. For the first time since the start of the crisis, there are more than 500 active cases in the Outaouais, of which more than 400 are in the sectors of Gatineau, Hull and Aylmer.

The City promises to be “severe” during the Easter weekend. “The police will not accept any gatherings. We are going to issue tickets, ”insisted the mayor. “I don’t want to scare the world, but we have to tell ourselves the truth: it is our ability to treat people with COVID-19 that is at stake, but also our ability to treat others. The load shedding can be done faster than elsewhere, ”he also warned.

We have to get out of this as quickly as possible. There are about 10 to 12 weeks left before everyone is vaccinated. At the moment, 10% of cases in Quebec are with us. We have to take this seriously.

Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau

In a press briefing shortly after, the CEO of the CISSS de l’Outaouais, France Dumont, argued that the pressure on hospitals is great. “We are very concerned. […] With the third wave, we have reached about one hospitalization in intensive care, for three cases of general admission, ”she revealed.

“We may have to look at some load shedding activities. We have not started yet, but if the curve of increase in intensive care proves to be rising steadily and rapidly, we will have to do it ”, also indicated Mme Dumont. According to the CISSS, the average age in intensive care is currently 56 years. “It could be you, your father, your sister,” said the CEO.

Dams or not?

Asked whether it will be necessary to impose roadblocks between the Outaouais and Ontario, the mayor remained cautious. “I’m not sure they are necessary, but it will remain a topic of discussion. For the moment, I understand that it is not on the table, but that could change very quickly, ”said Mr. Pedneaud-Jobin. “If we see that there is inter-travel, if it takes roadblocks, put some”, also advanced the mayor, specifying that it must first be up to public health experts to decide on the issue. .

Tuesday, before announcing that Gatineau would be “put on pause”, Prime Minister François Legault had suggested that the establishment of dams with Ottawa was being studied, as were several other scenarios. “The region that worries us the most is the Outaouais. Should we put roadblocks between Quebec and Ontario? “, He wondered, saying he had scenarios to” increase restrictions “in the area.

Regarding vaccination, the City of Gatineau says it is doing “as fast as it can go”, in concert with the CISSS de l’Outaouais. “When things were going well for us, we diverted vaccines to Montreal, and there, Montreal returns us the courtesy. This will allow us to vaccinate more, but the issue remains the availability of doses, ”raised the mayor.

“We received at the beginning of the week nearly 13,000 doses and we expect more by the end of the week,” said the director of vaccination for the Outaouais, Nency Héroux, on Thursday. According to her, 9,000 of the 34,000 doses that will be sent to the regions will be reserved for the Outaouais. “There is a great volume coming here,” she argued.

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