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“Actu Vallée” podcasts with Kirsteen MacKenzie are translated from French and published online for you to stay up to date on Coronavirus in the Chamonix Valley.
On Saturday March 14th, France announced an evolution of the Corona virus pandemic, now in stage 3.
As a result restaurants, bars, cafés, cinemas, non-essential stores and other public places were shut down until further notice.
Click the link above for some local sources of cuisine in Chamonix Mont Blanc who are continuing business with take-away meals and delivery only.
UPDATED MAY 15th 2020
The deconfinement has finally arrived, but brought with it the rain…
…damp weather however, hasn’t but a dampener of the reprise of trail and alpine activities, which for the moment remain calm and privileged by locals.
However, this weekend the reopening of the Aiguille du midi and the Montenvers train could attract more people…strict measures in place such as wearing a mask in confined spaces, temperature checks and the respect of perimeter markings within the cabins hope to limit the risk of contagion.
#Montagne l 🏔️A partir du 11 mai, la pratique des activités de montagne sera autorisée en #Savoie mais soumise à des restrictions.
⚠️Après 2 mois sans sport, la reprise doit se faire progressivement et de nombreux sommets restent enneigés. Ne surchargez pas les services d’urgence pic.twitter.com/vV3iLiaMbY
— Préfet de la Savoie (@Prefet73) May 10, 2020
Strict rules also apply to open air sports…measures explained in a 100-page guide published on the website of the Ministry of Sport website explains a number of measures applicable to mountain sports.
For example, you must respect the barrier measures of 1.5m between two hikers or trail runners, in groups of no more than 10 people. There is also a ban on long routes with relay climbing and bivouacs. While for cyclists and mountain bikers, you must respect 10 meters between each rider.
The guides of the Valley, have also had the all clear to return to work. According to a press release from the prefecture of Haute-Savoie; They can take clients on glacier hikes, ski touring, via ferrata, canyoning or even climbing, while respecting the same constraints as everyone else.
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Chers clients, La Compagnie des guides de Chamonix est heureuse de ré-ouvrir son accueil au public à partir du samedi 16 mai ! Accueil du mardi au samedi, de 15h30 à 18h30 et permanence téléphonique tous les jours de 15h30 à 18h30. Le fonctionnement des refuges est actuellement en discussion pour une éventuelle réouverture début juin. Nous espérons une reprise normale de nos activités à cette date. En attendant, nous vous proposons une offre limitée, adaptée aux recommandations sanitaires : Ski : Ski de randonnée à la journée Alpinisme : randonnée glaciaire et initiation à la journée Escalade : débutants et confirmés Randonnée : sorties thématiques journée et demi-journée Outdoor : canyoning et école d’escalade demi-journée Juniors : pour accompagner la population locale, programme multi-activités en semaine dédié aux 4-7 ans et 8-15 ans. A très vite ! ___ Dear clients, The Compagnie des guides de Chamonix are happy to announce the reopening of its office to the public from Saturday 16th May! Reception open Tuesday to Saturday, from 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and a hotline every day from 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. The functioning of the mountain huts is currently under discussion for a possible reopening in early June. We expect a reestablishment of our normal activities on this date. In the meantime, we are offering a limited range of products, adapted to the current health recommendations. Ski: Day ski touring Mountaineering: Day glacier hike and a day initiation to mountaineering Rockclimbing : beginners and confirmed Hiking: themed day and half-day outings Outdoor: Canyoning and half-day climbing school #ChamonixGuides #MoreWild
Update from the Hospital Du Pays Du Mont Blanc
In Sallanches, 19 patients are still hospitalized in the hospital in the COVID 19 service
81 patients had the chance to return home according to the latest information from the Hospitals of the Pays du Mont Blanc. (21 dead)
The hospital group recommends you wearing your mask each time you leave your home.
From May 18, consultations will resume at Sallanches hospital with temperature measurement and filling in a medical questionnaire, prior to each consultation.
For maternity, the rules are softened for those accompanying pregnant women. Throughout the crisis, they new mothers were alone before, and after delivery and during all consultations before the baby arrived. One person will now be allowed to accompany them throughout the entire process.
Meanwhile in the heart of Chamonix
After the evident return of consumerism, it’s the turn of the Valley’s media libraries to resume cultural services!
You can once again borrow books, CDs and DVDs…the media libraries have even set up a special system so that you can borrow without entering the buildings by choosing from the online catalog before your visit.
However, the list of canceled events continues to grow. The Mont Blanc marathon scheduled for the end of June has been axed.
And lastly business not quite as usual for the community of communes, they are launching a fine tender for a million euros for sustainable mobility in the Mont Blanc area…a project to invent new means of transport…for locals and tourists…funded 85% by European Union.
The French government also has plans to boost tourism:
If you have questions.
the town hall of Chamonix has set up
An information service – you can write to the following email address “info coronavirus @ chamonix.fr/ or call 04 50 54 67 50 / inhabitants des houches, you can contact the 06 86 31 78 74.
It is necessary to respect the isolation measures in place, as well general hygeine ones:
Clean your hands at least every 2 hours and making no physical contact in public, with a proximity distance of 1m or more.
More than half of the COVID beds are occupied in Sallanches, with 56 people hospitalized according to the latest information from the Hospitals of the Pays du Mont Blanc. dating from Tuesday April 21st. 17 people have unfortunately died – while 48 patients have returned home.
Two residents of the Airelles de Sallanches retirement home were hospitalized after being tested positive for Corona Virus. In Chamonix, residents should also be tested…and good news for loved ones, according to government directives, it is now possible to go to visit your parents, grandparents in ephad, but of course, there will be precautions to take, with visits installed in a special booth.
Rules have also relaxed at Sallanches maternity unit. Until recently, only one person could attend the delivery but there was no visit before or after, from now on, a loved one will be able to stay after childbirth but with strict rules, for example prohibiting leaving the room, including for a cigarette. A good time to quit!
20 Thousand FFP2 masks have just been delivered to the municipality of CHamonix … a gift from China. They will be distributed to the various nursing staff in the valley and to agents in contact with the virus… Meanwhile, the town hall has ordered 8,000 masks for residents, (alternative masks) the distribution of which should start this week.
Many companies in the Valley have launched private initiatives to help caregivers.
This is the case of ZAG, à Argentière they collected more than 10,000 euros, a participant will also be drawn to win a pair of skis…all the information to find on their facebook page.
Verbalizations which have left many unanswered questions in the valley, sometimes with very expensive answers.
At the moment the gendarmerie is collaborating with fifteen agents of the municipal police….who have the right to verbalize.
No more than 5 fines per day are distributed according to the town hall and very often for recidivism or inappropriate behavior or excessive travel.
The last question has garnered the most concerns from the locals .. who would like to do their shopping elsewhere than in Chamonix …
The town hall reminds you, it is permissible to go shopping in Les Houches or Sallanches, but it insists .. within moderation for the number of trips and how much shopping is required. For example, not to travel to Grand Frais to buy a picnic basket but over a week of supplies.
Finally, good news for those who have done the spring cleaning at home and in the garden. the two recycling centers are open again…
In Les Houches, only by appointment and in the afternoon, you have to take the day before your arrival. And in Chamonix .. no appointment but limited hours – now published on the town hall website…the Ressourcerie on the other hand in Bochère remains closed until further notice.
Case closed for seasonal workers who live in trucks at the Molliasses campsite at the entrance to Chamonix, the campsite closed since April 15 for flood risks.
nine seasonal workers were able to find refuge in the Grépon car park with access to water, electricity and sanitary facilities.
Twenty were able to return home thanks to a certificate signed by the town hall allowing them to travel on the roads of France, to avoid being verbalized.
and an update from the Mayor:
Good news for farmers and artisans in the Valley and throughout the region,
The Chamonix market…is back on the market!
only A dozen producers will be present on Place du Mont Blanc from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Entries will be filtered, and it will be necessary to respect certain measures such as paying with contactless card.
The prefect of Haute Savoie, Pierre Lambert has, however, made new arrangements for food businesses, which will have to close their doors between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. delivery and withdrawal of orders will however still be authorized.
#Coronavirus Pierre Lambert, @Prefet74 prend des dispositions complémentaires pour endiguer la propagation du virus en #HauteSavoie ⛔️ aux hébergements à vocation touristique de recevoir du public & ⛔️de la vente à emporter dans les restaurants & débits de boissons ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/0y7KqDX1Kz
— Préfet de la Haute-Savoie (@Prefet74) April 8, 2020
And when it comes to short term rentals Mr.Lambert has the same opinion as the mayor of Chamonix, Eric Fournier…
Several inhabitants of the valley have complained about the arrival of tourists or second residents since the start of the Easter holidays.
Short term rentals are therefore prohibited throughout the department until the end of confinement. see: interdit de louer ou prêter vos résidences secondaires
In other news:
Our local economy is also a victim to this Novel Coronavirus.
…Notably the Compagnie du Mont Blanc.
Compagnie des Alpes, which is a CMB shareholder, forecasts a 25% loss on the year ahead. They have postponed the Charamillon gondola renovations for Le Tour and may stagger the opening of the next ski season with one sole site open for the first week of operations, before seasonaire staff join a full a week later.
Meanwhile, workers at the Aiguille du Midi have cried wolf!
And Mathieu Dechavanne, CEO of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc, has the video to proove it, shared publically on his Linkedin account. The video clearly shows a wolf emerging from the snow.
With the decline in human activity…Animals are taking back their kingdom.
The altitude ecosystem research center CREA has published magnificent photos of such animals on their facebook page.
From automatic photographic devices installed throughout the Mont Blanc massif you can glimpse lagopède, tétralyre and fouine blanche to name a few.
Since the start of the health crisis Globule Radio has been publicizing the various mutual aid actions in place, in particular by local government agents but also smaller associations.
We invite you to contact us at the following email address info @ chamonix.radio if you have an initiative to share.
In Les Houches, the NGO “HUMATEM”, usually experts in recovering medical equipment from medical operatives for less developed countries is focusing their efforts locally.
This same Les Houches team still keeps ties with the developing world by translating crucial resource documents on COVID 19 from the original French language.
Mathieu D’Ham, sports coach of the Richard Bozon Sports Center has posted his workouts on the channel Chamonix Mont Blanc Commune and Vallée.
And for yogis, Marie Claude and Mélanie in Les Houches, continue their ‘corps et Conscience’ Yoga lessons online, on their Namastecoco site.
Lastly for a little culture…
the Vallée’s multimedia library network offers you daily reading and music advice on the Facebook page RESEAU MEDIATHEQUE…find all the links on our website Globule.chamonix.radio on the “Coronavirus” page.
The PGHM discovered the lifeless body of the climber who had fallen from 300 meters above, they would like to remind the public that all mountain activities are prohibited, and that they currently have no doctor staffed.
#Conseil 👍 Pour déterminer le périmètre de 1km autour de votre domicile, le module isodistance de @Geoportail peut vous être utile. ⚠️ À une exception près: la fréquentation des espaces de montagne est interdite par arrêté @Prefet74 ⛔🏔️ #TousResponsables pic.twitter.com/JPjOufZN3e
— Gendarmerie de la Haute-Savoie (@Gendarmerie_074) March 26, 2020
In retirement homes in the Valley, the elderly are still confined and for the moment, there is no case of COVID 19 in Chamonix or Sallanches.
Aide Soignants and Hospital staff would like to thank all the people, associations and businesses making donations; whether it be masks, hydroalcoholic gel, meals, snacks or even drawings.
The team at the Hospital du Pays du Mont Blanc in Sallanches is reinforced by members of the French Red Cross and voluntary pisteurs.
A word from our Mayor Éric Fournier, April 5th:
Staff at the Hospitals of the Pays du Mont-blanc have taken to facebook to thank all the people and companies that have volunteered to donate and deliver protective equipment, gowns, masks, hydro-alcoholic solutions, and even food…
In Sallanches, the hospital set up a new reception area in the parking lot to receive symptomatic patients and two rescuers from the French Red Cross of Haute-Savoie have joined the hospital teams to filter such patients.
Meanwhile at the Chamonix nursing home, where there is currently no case of Coronavirus, students from the training institute for nursing assistants in Sallanches have mobilized to lend a hand.
Rescuers of the Chamonix White Cross are also mobilized.They traverse the valley with the Compagnie du Guide minibuses to visit the elderly, bringing them meals or medicines in collaboration with the town hall.
And for those whose income usually relies on property rentals, AIRBNB the online rental platform is offering you to earn 50 euros should you donate your accommodation to health care workers who require isolation from their families or are in need of a roof over their head.
Beyond care workers and health professionals…associations are in action to help small business and the distribution of fresh produce.
The boutch à boutch association have teams organizing the distribution of baskets of local vegetables. In the second week of confinement alone, 450 baskets were delivered. For the next delivery all the information can be found on their facebook page:
The chamber of agriculture also has an online directory of farmers, follow their facebook page to find the contact information of producers near you, for example:
In Vallorcine, “le refuge des poulettes de la forêt verte” also offers deliveries of cheeses, cold meats and vegetables.
While in Servoz, Karell de MA KANTOCHE offers home delivery meals, The de Marmots au lac has created a bakery space, and for more artisanal bread Gérard and his “Pain du Chibon” bread is present every Saturday in front of the village hall at 4 p.m.
All the town halls in the Valley want the social bond to continue despite containment measures, this means paying attention to your neighbors, especially the most vulnerable.
This week the town hall of Chamonix sent letters to all its inhabitants. If you need help, it is possible to reply directly to the print out to inform the municipality of your situation.
The evolution of the number of infected is closely monitored by all health professionals, who send the information back to the national health agency… and to public health France which lists new cases of COVID 19 every day in the region.
Health professionals are likewise applauded every evening at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, the Chamonix firefighters set off all the sirens on their truck to pay tribute to them, as well as gendarmes, cashiers, truckers, garbage collectors and all the “essential workers” on the ground.
These workers and all caregivers urge you to stay at home…even if the mountain is tempting, the PGHM would like to remind you it is still forbidden to go there.
Following further alpines rescues in spite of regulations, the prefect of Haute Savoie has again toughened the rules…it is now forbidden to exceed 100 meters in altitude from your home.
Maybe you’re more of a home-body than and mountain-man and feel now is the time for spring cleaning and gardening…
In that case the municipality would like to remind you that the bochère and clausy decehtteries are both closed, and it is forbidden to deposit everything and anything in front of your local mollocs.
It is also forbidden to burn your plants. The greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of 50kg of branches or 5 medium trash bags of garden waste is equivalent to 14,000 km of car travel.
On Tuesday March 24, the Regional Health Authority reported 17 new positive cases of Coronavirus, Covid-19 in Haute-Savoie. This brings the total to 289 people infected, with 10 people hospitalized at Sallanches hospital in connection with this virus.
Nationwide, France has registered 1,100 deaths due to Covid-19 as of Tuesday, but nursing homes in regions most affected by the coronavirus say the official figures are missing many cases and that the real mortality rate is much higher. Notably in Haute-Savoie, the Sillingy nursing home has has 7 deaths.
Throughout the country, “Covid-19 centers” are now opening. Bespoke medical structures managed by general practitioners. In haute savoie the first center opened on Wednesday in Annecy.
These centers are being set up to avoid congestion in hospitals in the coming days with the acceleration of the coronavirus epidemic. The aim is also to limit contamination in the waiting rooms of your local Maison de Sante.
you won’t find secretatries working for your family doctor, all reservations are to be made online and for urgent inquiries only on the website: docto lib.
Meanwhile, The emergency sector of Chamonix hospital is now closed … this has allowed the nursing staff to help the SAllanches teams where two care channels have been set up, one for daily care and another dedicated to covid 19 with thirty beds dedicated to resuscitation .
As part of the strengthening of containment measures, and throughout the national territory, covered or non-covered markets are prohibited unless derogation. On the other hand, at the request of the mayors, the prefects can grant an authorization to open certain
In the meantime,
Your physical movements must remain brief, within the limit of one hour daily and within a maximum radius of one kilometer around the home.
Since March 17, 2020, anyone traveling on public roads in France must be able to present an exit certificate. This Tuesday, March 24, a new version of the certificate came into force. It specifies some of the previously authorized reasons, adds new reasons, and the departure time must now be mentioned.
Violations are punished. If the document is not presented during a police check, an offender is liable to a fine of 135 euros. And if he re-offends within 15 days of the first offense, the fine will increase to 1,500 euros.