“Before, during confinement, do a survey, it was still easy since the people were in them. But now we started the déconfinement, people [in different places], which complicates our investigations”, explains Nathalie Beaulieu, coordinator of the service of prevention and protection of infectious diseases.
June 9, 2020 17h09
COVID-19: police officers retirees in the reinforcement to the public health
With the déconfinement of several business areas and the largest movement of the population, epidemiological investigations are becoming more complex. The CIUSSS of the National Capital, it was decided to use police pensioners to help teams of public health for contact tracing of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The project CIUSSS, modeled on what is done in some regions “hot”, was presented last month at the Brotherhood of police officers retired from the police Department of the City of Québec and the Sûreté du Québec, explains in the interview, Nathalie Beaulieu, coordinator of the service of prevention and protection of infectious diseases.
“We did publish an advertisement in their group, and the response has been very positive. There are more than twenty police officers retired [some are former investigators, not others] who have quickly raised their hand to help us deal with the pandemic,” says Ms. Beaulieu, specifying that the first four police officers to join the teams of public health as soon as Wednesday.
Why police reinforcements? “A department of public health must always remain agile in a pandemic, and to stay agile, it means adapting to reality. Before, during confinement, do a survey, it was still easy since the people were in them. But now we started the déconfinement, people [in different places], which complicates our investigations,” because there are more people to join, “a friend of a friend whom one has not the telephone number, for example”, explains Ms. Beaulieu.
“It was really a new challenge, we feel it now in our investigations. A positive case, it can lead to 30 to 40 contacts to call. And we do the hide not, the police have expertise, they are accustomed to find people,” she says.
Nathalie Beaulieu ensures that this is not a problem of under-staffing in the public health justification for this initiative, although it conceded that the nurses will be in need of a vacation this summer, especially if a second wave hit in the fall.
“No one has ever missed the world, and it has always been able to do thorough investigations. But if we want to continue to be rigorous in our investigations, we must review our way of dealing with the police,” explains Ms. Beaulieu.
“A positive case, it can lead to 30 to 40 contacts to call. And we do the hide not, the police have expertise, they are accustomed to find people ”
Nathalie Beaulieu, coordinator of the service of prevention and protection of infectious diseases
The head of the CIUSSS explains that the nurses and doctors in public health have put in place “algorithms that will help the police to be complementary to the epidemiological investigations”.
“A positive case is always investigated when one receives it to ensure that the person receives the care he needed, and that there is no transmission,” she explains. But when the nurse did the survey, there is a component that is not clinical, which is only to ask where the person went in the last time and that she has been in contact. […] These contacts should be called out, they receive instructions, and all that may be done by the police officers, which will enable nurses to focus on the investigation of positive cases.”
If ever a case contact learn to the policeman at the end of the thread that he has started to feel the symptoms, it will be referred to a nurse or to a physician for evaluation.
Currently, the teams of the public health work in “cells”, each of which has developed a specialization in medium specific (health, school, businesses, for example). The four police officers pensioners will be integrated in these cells, and, if all goes well, others will be put to contribution, says Nathalie Beaulieu.