Who are the 2,000 Covid mediators responsible for ensuring compliance with barrier gestures during the summer?


FOCUS – Tests, vaccines and respect for barrier gestures … at the dawn of the summer holidays, the government hired a legion of men and women, responsible for surveying beaches and places of leisure.

Hello, thank you for keeping sanitary distances” or “Would you like to get vaccinated?“. Holidaymakers will thus be welcomed by the 2,000 mediators, hired by the government on the eve of the summer vacation. Faced with a growing circulation of the Delta variant and a possible relaxation of barrier gestures, the Minister of Health fears an epidemic resumption as soon as “the end of july“. Indeed, once the beach towel is spread out and the swimsuit put on, the Covid-19 could only seem a distant memory. It is against this relaxation that the government has decided to send anti-Covid mediators, otherwise known as LAC, to beaches and leisure places. “We will rely on Covid referents, trained to support the population, assured Olivier Véran, on June 19, in the JDD. They will be present absolutely everywhere: on vacation spots, in campsites, in colonies ”.

Thus, 2000 in number, they will rub shoulders with sellers of ice cream and cold drinks, meandering around vacationers, happy to leave the urban gloom and get some fresh air. But what will be their role? And how are they formed?

Prevention and vaccination

Dispersed throughout the territory by the various regional health agencies (ARS), these mediators come “consolidate»The building now known to all«Test – alert – protect“. Their mission will be threefold, assures the Figaro ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The first will be to perform saliva and antigenic tests “among the general population and more targeted on clusters“. In addition, they will be mobilized to help the Health Insurance teams to strengthen contact tracing surveys. With a lower incidence rate, it is easier to trace back to patient zero and reduce chains of contamination more quickly. In order to limit the spread of the virus, which remains low despite some slight signs of recovery, the anti-Covid mediators will be responsible for ensuring that barrier gestures are respected and recalling their importance.

If the wearing of the mask has been lifted outside throughout the country, some municipalities such as Le Touquet, Montpellier, Agde or Béziers have again made it compulsory in certain areas and days of the week. Caution therefore remains in order, recalled the Secretary of State for Tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, visiting the Bouches-du-Rhône on 1er July. “We often have the reflex of sunscreen, we must keep the reflex of barrier gestures, he hammered. Its very important.A collective effort requested from the French, which the LAC mediators will have to watch over.

But that’s not all. They will also be in first position to try to convince the French still reluctant to be vaccinated. While France seems to have reached a glass ceiling with a slowdown in the number of injections per day, the health authorities are calling for the undecided to be motivated. If for the moment the vaccination obligation for the entire population has been ruled out several times by the government, the order is to be convinced instead of constrained. Anti-Covid mediators will therefore be able to encourage holidaymakers to go to vaccination centers and answer their questions. “But they can’t give injections, reminds the Figaro Florent Vallée, deputy director of Covid operations for the Red Cross, in charge of their training. Only a member of the medical staff can do this. “

First aid and screening

Each mediator was recruited for the duration of the summer via Pôle emploi by his nearest regional health agency. In order to master first aid, they were trained in March either by the Red Cross itself or by a nursing institute (IFSI). Beyond the practical, then comes the theoretical on the benefits and risks of vaccination as well as the mechanisms of propagation of the virus. The courses were provided, mostly at a distance, by the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health (EHESP) and the primary health insurance funds (CPAM). “They are not there only to convince but above all to exchange views, to put civil protection back at the heart of the debate.», Explains Florent Vallée.

These beach surveyors and tourist places during the summer are mainly young people, with at least a post-baccalaureate level, adds the deputy director of Covid operations for the Red Cross. If their mission is important for the season, he sees it as an even bigger opportunity. With an unemployment rate high at 32%, according to figures from last April, young people have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Many have lost their jobs, others their career prospects. “We try to motivate them to redirect them to another job or another internal job“. Some have even been able to sign a CDD as project manager for the Red Cross or in vaccination centers, rejoices Florent Vallée. Contacted by Le Figaro, Pôle emploi was not able to quantify the number of jobs created as part of the anti-Covid mediators.

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