Isaac Instruments describes its Covid-19 story

Steve Bouchard

MONTREAL, Que. — 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, vice-president — culture, development and care (Photo: Isaac Instruments)

It marked the beginning of a meticulous tracking process within the workplace that provides electronic logging devices (ELDs) and other telemetry solutions for the trucking industry.

The street hockey game occurred Feb. 29, just two days after the 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.

“Josiane was super transparent and immediately notified the management team.”

– Melanie Charbonneau, Isaac Instruments

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.

“Josiane was super transparent and immediately notified the management team,” says Mélanie Charbonneau, Isaac’s vice-president – marketing and communications.

“What really impressed me was how the Department of Public Health (DSP) took matters into its own hands. How they followed up closely. How prepared, organized and structured they were to support Josiane and the people who had been in contact with her.”

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

Tracking the hours

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.

“We try to be as transparent as possible. We share the questions of each member of our team and give official answers by releases,” Charbonneau says, referring to ongoing communication.

“What helped us was the communication within the team, because there was a lot of concerns, whether we like it or not,” she says. “As a company, you have to be transparent, announce things as soon as you know them, and follow up with those who have been tested also.”

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

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.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data

*

  • There is absolutely no proof that she did not infect anyone; There are currently no tests in place for anti-bodies, and all carriers are not symptomatic. She easily could have infected thousands but through indirect contact, as well as physical contact with anything she could have touched.

    You write about trucks, not about medical issues; stick to what you know. Either that or get a real job