I could not begin without saying that I am grateful for you. The Wales has been closed to visitors and nonessential services for seven weeks now. This conclusion is not easy, nor do I expect this closing to become less difficult. A battle was won, but the war is not over.
The Estrie's situation is improving and the news is excellent. Hospitalizations are decreasing and daily new cases of COVID-19 are very low, sometimes down to zero! These decreases indicate that our actions are working. This improvement does not mean we should lower our guards. Please keep following the measures to remain virus-free and prevent COVID-19 from entering the Wales. As you now know, elementary schools and daycares are reopening on May 11th; attendance is optional. I want you to respect each other's decisions, as each person's situation is different. I want you to understand that you will not be putting the Wales at risk by sending your children to school. The government will implement protocols for schools and daycares to follow, including fifty percent capacity, testing procedures, no admittance if presence of cold symptoms, etc. If there is a positive case, schools may test each student and employee. Yes, your children might get the virus; but kids, for the most part, do not show symptoms when they are infected by COVID-19. They are little carriers who do not seem to be hit too badly by the virus. On a personal note, my kids will return if the situation remains the same in two weeks and if my schools are able to apply the measures. If you or your loved one has a chronic health condition, you should keep your kids at home, if you can, to avoid catching COVID-19. Start working with your kids if you have not already; have them wash their hands as soon as they walk in, before and after meals, and teach them to avoid touching their faces and to distance from each other. They need to be aware and prepared for the new measures in their classrooms.
If our kids are sick, we might get infected and show symptoms before them. Infection will happen. We need to learn to live with that risk and with COVID-19. The virus is now part of our daily lives for the next months and even years. What can you do to protect the Wales? You will apply the same measures here; wash your hands often, change on site, wear your mask, and contact me as soon as you have symptoms. Our measures will not change. Employees have been tested and will continue to be tested, more than once if necessary. You must keep being careful with your outings and maintain physical distancing when you can.
Question: I am a healthcare professional; do I have to remain quarantined until a vaccine is available?
- We will follow government regulations. If hairdressers reopen in three weeks and the government says anyone can go, you will be allowed to go. Your job at a seniors' home does not mean you will stop living your life. We need hairdressers, right? Some more than others right now... ;) Businesses will have measures in place and will have to change their ways of offering services. You might have to wear a personal artisinal mask to get your hair done, we do not yet know. You can only respect measures in place wherever you must go; ask them what their measures are before going and keep applying the measures in place here. We will get through this day by day.
If parents get sick, we will have to adjust. Our services mihjt become different; we might have to reorganize our care and structure - and we will. We will ensure we do not end up on the news as a situation that got out of control. The government will offer support, we will have access to retired employees ready to help, administration will step in, etc.
If COVID-19 gets into the Wales, you will not be at fault. We must understand this fact. We will not blame you, we will not shoulder the responsibility. This virus is insidious and I one hundred percent believe that you are doing what you can to avoid bringing COVID-19 here. To control the virus until a vaccine is produced, COVID-19 needs to spread slowly but continuously; like small, continuous waves after a storm such as what we just had. The goal of shutting down the whole country was to control the virus's first wave; had we not closed the country, there would have been a lot more deaths and an uncontrolled healthcare system like in Italy and China. We won this first battle. Now we need to focus on continuity, because we do not know when or if a vaccine will be available. Also, vaccines are not one hundred percent efficient. In the meantime, we cannot simply wait inside our homes for months in the hopes that maybe a solution will manifest. We are still in this pandemic together and will respect each others' decisions while abiding by the Wales's measures.
Now if we can have some consistant sun and heat, that would be very appreciated.
Happy Mother's Day to the loving mothers!
Director of Health Services
819-826-3266 extension 224