Toulouse. Covid Brigade: virus, where are you?

the essential
The mission of the Health Insurance Contact Covid platform is to track down the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. At CPAM 31, around 20 people take turns every day to look for people in contact with Covid-19 patients and invite them to be tested.

It is called the Covid brigade. Its members – soon to be sixty for all of Occitania – investigators. Agents of the CPAM (Primary Health Insurance Fund), they volunteered to fulfill a whole new mission: to track down, every day, the SARS-CoV 2 coronavirus, the cause of the Covid-19 disease. To break the chain of transmission, they call each person who tests positive for Covid-19 and register the people with whom they have been in contact to offer them, in turn, screening.

In Haute-Garonne, since May 13, 3,522 people have been traced from 995 positive patients. It is from these “zero patients” that the “investigation” begins.

This August 6, at 11 a.m., Patrick Lefebvre, from the Covid brigade of CPAM 31, has just received an alert from a Toulouse analysis laboratory. A 22-year-old patient is declared positive for the coronavirus after a PCR test (nasopharyngeal test) carried out 24 hours earlier. “We have 4 hours to call him and register all the people who have been in contact with them,” he says.

After hearing from the young woman and verifying her identity, the mission begins. First objective, to isolate the person well for 14 days. “How many people live with you? How do you go about shopping? Do you need a work stoppage? Do you have enough masks? It is important that you respect the confinement, we are counting on you”.

Then, up to the investigation. Patrick Lefebvre needs the surnames, first names and telephone numbers of the people with whom the patient has been in contact for the two days preceding her first symptoms. Informed of this request, it established a list of 11 people, seen or even kissed during a family celebration. It will be her husband, also positive for Covid, who will detail it to the CPAM agent. The couple agree to let the contacts called know that they are behind the appeal process. They also warned them. Thirty minutes later, the file is complete.

“This call took a long time because there was a lot of contact, 11 people compared to 5 to 6 on average. This number has increased since the beginning of July, with holidays, family reunions or gatherings of young people. , we can go up to 40 “.

In the case of this patient zero, it was also necessary to take stock with her husband who works in a business and transmit this information to the ARS (Regional Health Agency) Occitanie which takes over for sensitive sites or receiving the public. In the next few hours, other platform agents will call all these contacts to invite them to be tested, respecting the 7-day period between the moment of contact and the test in order to avoid false negatives.

“In 98% of cases, the people we call play the game. The information has passed through the population,” says Patrick Lefbvre, who chose to be detached from his post of executive in charge of mission as soon as the brigade was launched. , May 13, 2020. “I like the benevolent and informative aspect and the idea of ​​being useful”.

Installed in the office opposite him, on the third floor of the Toulouse CPAM health examination center, Maxime Ader, seconded from the marketing department, goes in the same direction. “During confinement, I looked after my children while my wife worked every day at the Paule de Viguier hospital… I wanted to do my part. I like the relational side of this mission, this morning I also had to reassure a mother who was trying to convey the right message to her young son, positive after a festive evening “.

Since July 1, the Covid investigation platform of the CPAM 31 has become regional. In the coming days, given the growing number of positive cases, 90 people will be mobilized.

Four new sites to get tested

Faced with the increase in the number of people infected by the coronavirus in the department, the prefecture of Haute-Garonne, the town hall of Toulouse and the Regional Health Agency (ARS) Occitanie have just stepped up measures to limit viral circulation. In connection with the biologists of Occitanie (URPS), four new screening sites, in the form of “drive” opened this Friday in Toulouse (allées Jules Guesde, parking lot of the green base of Argoulets, place de la Maourine, place Martin Luther King). They operate in the morning and will receive without an appointment, with or without a prescription, until September 30. The CHU drive in Purpan has already extended its hours by opening from Monday to Sunday.

These measures support the obligation to wear a mask on the Garonne docks and on all the department’s markets.

“These screenings must be done now. We must increase capacities, reduce waiting times. Anyone with symptoms, or who thinks they have been in contact with an infected person should not hesitate to come for a screening” , underlines Professor François Chollet, elected from Toulouse in charge of coordination in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. “What is worrying is the rapidity of the increase in the incidence curve, from 11 to 15 per 100,000 inhabitants in less than 5 days and, above all, an incidence curve of 31 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in the 20-30 age group. We are fighting so that there is no reconfinement and this fight is not lost “, continues the elected official who takes seriously the recommendations of the Covid-19 Scientific Council recommending the preparation of a reconfinement plan for 20 major cities.

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