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Some Quebec overnight camps are being forced to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks

A man walks by a sign for a COVID-19 testing centre in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.

MONTREAL – Summer season camp season in Quebec has been reduce quick for a whole bunch of youngsters who’ve been despatched dwelling on account of COVID-19 outbreaks, just a few days after the begin to a few of the province’s in a single day camps.

Outbreaks, principally amongst counsellors, have shut down no less than three in a single day camps throughout the province, Éric Beauchemin, with an affiliation representing Quebec summer time camps, stated Tuesday.

You are reading: Some Quebec overnight camps are being forced to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks

“Individuals have been getting contaminated one after the opposite and earlier than dropping 25 of them, dad and mom have been requested to return and decide up their youngsters,” stated Beauchemin, with Affiliation des camps du Québec.

About 500 youngsters and employees have been despatched again dwelling over the previous few days, Beauchemin stated in an interview, including that oldsters can be refunded for the missed days.

In a single day camps have been allowed to reopen final summer time after they have been prohibited from working in 2020 due to the pandemic, however Beauchemin stated this 12 months is completely different.

“Final 12 months, we had necessary measures reminiscent of PCR assessments earlier than arriving at camps, social distancing, masks,” he stated. “This 12 months, we now have suggestions.”

The affiliation was scheduled to satisfy with Well being Division officers on Tuesday, and Beauchemin stated he hoped to persuade the federal government to reimpose some well being orders, reminiscent of necessary masking and COVID-19 PCR testing.

Quebec’s Well being Division, nevertheless, stated in a press release on Tuesday that it “doesn’t appear applicable to systematically take a look at all members and workers, whether or not upon arrival on the camp or upon contact with a confirmed case.” The division added that it was as much as the camps’ house owners to determine whether or not to close down within the occasion of a COVID-19 outbreak.

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Beauchemin stated the truth that there are little to no COVID-19 well being orders in place in contrast with final summer time, along with widespread employees shortages, is making the scenario even tougher to deal with.

“All of us had our guards down,” he stated, including that there have been no COVID-19 outbreaks in the course of the summer time of 2021.

“It’s the primary time we’re coping with a summer time wave.”

In Ontario, a big in a single day camp outdoors Huntsville, situated 215 kilometres north of Toronto, stated it will shut for a number of weeks on account of an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst employees.

“Sadly, like all industries, the summer time tenting trade just isn’t resistant to potential virus unfold because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an effect on communities throughout Ontario and around the globe,” Ontario Camps Affiliation government director Pleasure Levy stated in a press release Tuesday.

Camp Ouareau, in Quebec’s Lanaudière area, reported 9 instances of COVID-19 on Tuesday, all amongst employees. Stephane Richard, the camp’s director of operations, stated workers began creating signs on the finish of June, every week after the season’s first campers arrived.

“It was a tough resolution to make, to shut quickly, however our precedence is the security of our campers and our employees,” Richard stated in an interview. He stated he deliberate to reopen July 13.

Dr. Don Vinh of the McGill College Well being Centre says the scenario at camps, coupled with the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, suggests Quebec is experiencing a summer time wave of the illness.

“The wave is now,” he stated in an interview Tuesday. “We have to mitigate the issue now by reimplementing some measures.”

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In the meantime, Quebec reported a 147-patient rise within the variety of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday. Well being officers stated 1,441 individuals have been hospitalized with the illness, after 378 sufferers have been admitted prior to now 24 hours and 231 have been discharged. There have been 39 individuals in intensive care, a rise of three instances.

Vinh criticized the Quebec authorities for selling a return to regular life with out imposing well being measures, reminiscent of correct air flow and elevated entry to COVID-19 testing.

“We tried to return to a standard life, on this case going again to camps,” Vinh stated.

“We must always have executed it safely and do issues like request one or two adverse fast assessments, guarantee that everybody is satisfactorily vaccinated … there ought to nonetheless be measures in place … so what it was, is fake the pandemic is over when clearly it wasn’t.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed on July 5, 2022.

This story was produced with the monetary help of the Meta and Canadian Press Information Fellowship.

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