Coronavirus Chronicles: Josiane Lorange, Isaac Instruments

Steve Bouchard

A simple hockey game with friends on the street of a village in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It didn’t take more than that for the virus to set in.

Josiane Lorange, Isaac Instruments’ vice-president – culture, development and care, was part of the group. She tested positive for Covid-19 on March-19, but had also been in contact with work colleagues in the meantime.

Josiane Lorange, Isaac Instruments (Supplied photo)

The street hockey game occurred Feb. 29, just two days after the province had identified its first case of Covid-19. The majority of players contracted the virus, too. One was admitted to intensive care.

Lorange’s symptoms were limited to fatigue and an irritated throat at first, followed by the loss of taste and smell. But her partner actually began to experience symptoms before she did, and even had to be hospitalized.

The couple and their two children began to quarantine at their cottage, the adults living upstairs and the children in the basement.

Looking back, Lorange believes she personally contacted the virus between Feb. 29 and March 7 – leaving between one and two weeks before March 13, when most Isaac employees began to work remotely.

She would have been in contact with colleagues during that time.

She called company president Jacques De Larochelliere on March 14, a day before being tested. A positive result was returned March 19. Daily medical monitoring began by phone, and she was asked to take her temperature and report any symptoms. And the Department of Public Health (DSP) stepped in.

They wanted to know whoever had been within two meters of her for at least 15 minutes.

Lorange had to sift through her agenda, listing all her meetings and identifying colleagues who she may have come into contact with since March 4, when she first began to notice probable symptoms.

“For confidentiality purposes, DSP communicated with all of these colleagues individually. They didn’t know it was me who got the virus, and they didn’t necessarily know it was someone from the office. They were told they may have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 and asked to stay in quarantine and follow the instructions,” she says, describing the process.

The individual decides whether or not to reveal their identity.

Everyone who had been within two meters of her for more than 15 minutes was placed under quarantine. Isaac Instruments handled the communications with all the employees, but public health officials contacted those who had worked closely with Lorange.

The management team monitored the situation during daily Covid-19 meetings. Even now, the meetings continue three times a week.

“The good news,” says Lorange, “is that I haven’t infected anyone. It was reassuring.”

  • Coronavirus Chronicles tell the trucking industry’s personal stories from the front lines of Covid-19. They are drawn from the ongoing coverage at www.trucknews.com.
Steve Bouchard

Steve Bouchard started writing about trucks over 20 years ago, making him by far the most experienced trucking journalist in Quebec. Steve is the editor of Quebec’s leading French-language trucking magazine, Transport Routier, published by Newcom Média Québec since its creation in 2000. He is also editor of the associated website transportroutier.ca, and a contributor to Today’s Trucking and Trucknews.com.

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