August 16, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

The Pope and the 7th Wave: Public Health is under surveillance

Pope Francis’ visit represents a “calculated risk” that, according to Public Health, calls on attendees to exercise caution as infections linked to Covid-19 rise in Quebec.

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The Holy Father will draw thousands of people to Quebec and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We know that the participants that come in there will have a slightly different profile [comparativement au Festival d’été]. It’s going to be generational,” says Dr. Jack Girard, medical assistant director of public health for Capitol-National.

“These people are much more vulnerable than others in our society,” he says.

According to him, the papal visit is an “important” event, and those who have “important meaning” in it should not refrain from participating, if their physical condition allows.

However, he says they should assess the risk to themselves and take necessary precautions.

And, of course, anyone with or at risk for COVID-19 is asked to stay home.

mask and distance

In addition, the regional public health department “strongly” encourages mask wearing, especially for those at risk, those 60 years and older, those with chronic or immunocompromised diseases.

Additionally, spacing, breathing etiquette and other basic measures are regularly recommended whenever possible.

Surgical masks and disinfectant solutions will be distributed at shuttle boarding platforms for people traveling to the Basilica of Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré on Thursday.

In the Plains of Abraham, Saint-Jean ambulance responders can provide masks upon request.

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Even outdoors, dense crowds can be important vectors of infection, Dr. Girard underscores.

“We’re still in a meeting that, in our opinion, is a calculated risk, if you will,” he summarizes.

“There is no obligation in terms of health measures, and ultimately we all do our part,” he notes.


The Pope’s visit comes at a time when the spread of COVID-19 in the national capital is on the rise, with a weekly increase of 13% in cases last week.

The test positive rate is 16% and the number of hospitalizations is 225.

In short, “Covid is still with us. The epidemic is not over. We also want to avoid trivializing this situation,” explains Dr. Jacques Girard.