A Montreal long-term care facility on Sunday transferred 20 residents to local hospitals on Sunday after a COVID-19 outbreak raised concern among officials and families.
The Deputy President and CEO of the CIUSSS du Center-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, France Dupuis, indicated that 18 residents of the Maimonides Geriatric Center had been sent to Hôtel-Dieu hospital.
Two other residents were transferred to the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, while 10 residents remained in their rooms at the facility after being checked by a doctor.
“What we want is the safety of our residents, which is why we made this decision,” Ms. Dupuis explained in an interview.
The transfers came a day after the health agency announced plans to shut down a hot area at the facility that had 30 residents with COVID-10 to try to stem the spread of the virus.
Ms Dupuis says the outbreak erupted after an asymptomatic caregiver entered the facility and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
“Once there’s just one person, it’s like a fire; it goes very quickly. People are infected very quickly, ”she emphasizes.
The situation has raised concerns among relatives and families of the residents, who staged a protest outside the facility on Thursday to demand more support.
As of November 28, ten residents have died in Maimonides during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said Thursday he had requested a report on the situation and the need for additional staff.
Long-term care homes in Quebec were hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. Many facilities were understaffed, and in some cases staff moved from center to center, making it easier for the virus to spread.
Ms. Dupuis said the CIUSSS now intended to make it mandatory for caregivers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering long-term care facilities.
“The government is also now allowing us to make it mandatory for staff, which was not the case before,” she said, adding that gaps are still inevitable.
“But at least we’ll be tougher in our control system. “