Covisan, brigades tasked with breaking the transmission of Covid-19

The small family is complete, gathered standing against the sofa in the living room of this pavilion in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise). The image could appear later in the history books, in the chapter “life in 2020”. An indoor life, a surgical mask on the nose, features drawn by fatigue. All four are staring silently at the two white coats who are about to take out their swabs. Children of 4 and 2 years old not even impressed by this unusual ballet.

If the family receives a visit from a team from the Covisan device, it is because the mother, Dehbia, a construction supervisor, tested positive for Covid-19 a few days earlier. “It was the little one who infected me, he caught the virus at the nursery”, she suspects. The facility closed due to several cases, but the child “Had not been declared a contact case, she regrets. So we continued with our lives for a week: meetings, school …

→ CONTEXT. Covid-19, the first vaccinations in France

It is therefore necessary from now on to ensure the good isolation of each one and to screen the father and the eldest son to know if they are contaminated. Result, forty-eight hours later: negative tests. But the child begins to show symptoms… So the isolation from the family continues.

Testing and follow-up

This home visit is one of five carried out that day by the Covisan team, made up of Armide, a 56-year-old nurse, and Aurélie, a 34-year-old nurse. On the day’s program, 79 kilometers through the departments of Île-de-France and its landscapes grayed by the capricious weather that pass before the eyes of the two temporary workers. “We see the country! “, jokes Armide at the wheel.

The system, launched in April in the Paris region by the Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), consists of “Visit and screen isolated or elderly people, large families who cannot travel to the laboratory” or must remain in isolation, describes Paul Laurent, the manager. It is a question of breaking the chains of transmission by accompanying the “Contaminating persons” and their loved ones.

At each step, the same gestures are repeated. Aurélie picks up her phone half an hour before to announce the arrival of the tandem: “You have to ventilate the room well and wear a mask”, she warns. On site, the team puts on a protective gown and Armide cleans a corner of the table to put down their belongings. She signed a consent to the sample, then screened with an FFP2 mask on the nose and a cap on the head. ” You have questions ? “ The pair responds and offers a kit containing masks, gel and thermometer. “The first intention is the test, but there is a follow-up behind!, exhibits Aurélie. We propose to have groceries carried via the Red Cross, we can also suggest isolation in a hotel room, but there are often refusals.

“We see the third wave coming”

Opposite there are also often grateful patients. This is the case of Claudine (1), a 56-year-old teacher, who chose to self-confine before visiting her father in nursing home and after around twenty positive cases were detected in his high school. In the kitchen of her apartment in Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine) – last stop of the day – she confides her “Dull fear” to catch the virus and welcome the arrival “Providential” caregivers. Behind the mask is a smile. “Often we are offered coffee, soup, a panettone, tell Armide and Aurélie. But we cannot accept!

The device seems to have served as a model. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on December 16 the establishment “From the month of January” nationwide home visits. Contacted, the Directorate General of Health details the measure “Considered” : the “A nurse’s visit would be systematically offered when the health insurance called, just after the positive test” in order to give “Isolation counseling”, track down relatives or enter a “Aid device” if necessary.

→ EXPLANATION. Vaccines: how to use the French strategy

A necessary follow-up in the event of a resurgence of the epidemic. Between two visits, Aurélie confirms what is being said among the caregivers: “The third wave, we see it coming, we are preparing for it. “ At Covisan, we ensure to be “Ready to increase device if signals turn red”.


Covisan’s record

5,000 home visits have been carried out since April. Patients are identified via general practitioners, screening centers or the Covidom telephone platform.

10,000 patients were tested at home. The results are transmitted in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

150 people were part of the home visit teams. 40 to 50 are currently working there.

Nursing aides, nurses, student doctors and nurses have the status of temporary or temporary workers.


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