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Boisbriand’s Hasidic Jewish community placed under quarantine due to COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus: Hasidic Jewish community in Quebec placed under quarantine
A Hasidic Jewish community in the Laurentians of Quebec has been placed under quarantine after several members tested positive for COVID-19. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

A Hasidic Jewish community in the Laurentians region of Quebec has been placed under quarantine after several members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

There are about 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tosh community in Boisbriand, according to the region’s public health department.

“It has been the most difficult decision of my career but fortunately leaders in the community arrived at the same decision I had made,” said Eric Goyer, director of public health.
“Restricting individual liberties is not something I like to do. What I want is to offer the best protection to members of the community, especially seniors.”

READ MORE: Quebec’s health-care system ready as coronavirus deaths rise to 25, premier says

The order for 14 days of self-isolation came into effect on Sunday afternoon after the community of 4,000 requested help from authorities. Goyer said that individuals contracted the virus after recently travelling to the United States, where the pandemic has led to thousands of cases.

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“This is a first generation of cases, these are people who develop symptoms after travel,” he said.

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As a result, public health is awaiting results from nearly half of the tests administered in the community.

The Tosh community has also erected a checkpoint to ensure that only essential services have access to the area.

“We are there to help them if they need our help,” said Francis Lanouette, director of the Thérèse-De Blainville police force.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Quebec cases rise to 2,840, deaths remain at 22

Local leaders have been collaborating really well and helping the community follow the measures to avoid spreading the disease, according to officials.

Goyer said that the public health department and other authorities are there to help the Tosh community, but not to monitor them or stigmatize members.

He added that authorities are in constant contact with the community to ensure that they are not lacking any food or medication during the self-isolation period.

Coronavirus outbreak: Boisbriand’s Hasidic Jewish community under quarantine
Coronavirus outbreak: Boisbriand’s Hasidic Jewish community under quarantine

Boisbriand Mayor Marlene Cortado said that the city is closely monitoring the situation and following the public health department’s recommendations.

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“Everywhere in the city we are taking the measures,” she said.

In Quebec, the number of cases has surpassed 3,000 as of Monday. The illness has led to 25 deaths in the province.

— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines and the Canadian Press