COVID-19: All 2,600 seniors' residences in Quebec will be inspected, Premier Legault says
MONTREAL -- All 2,600 seniors' residences in Quebec, be they public or private, will be inspected to make sure they are operating safely, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Monday.
Forty privately run long-term care centres for seniors in Quebec were inspected this past weekend and five that were found to have significant issues will continue to be monitored by provincial authorities, Legault said.
The weekend inspections found that "the vast majority" of the residences were well-managed, and that measures will be taken to address the ones that are not.
Legault - who was joined for Quebec's daily COVID-19 update by national director of public health Horacio Arruda and Marguerite Blais, the provincial minister responsible for seniors - said the situation in Quebec's seniors homes - or CHSLDs - is the province's top priority at the moment.
Blais said she was "heartbroken" when she heard the disturbing news about what had happened in recent weeks at Maison Herron, a privately run CHSLD in Dorval on Montreal's West Island.
Legault announced that police and public-health investigators will be looking at unsanitary conditions reported at the residence in Dorval in Montreal's West Island. The office of Quebec's coroner on Sunday said it would be investigating the deaths at Maison Herron as well.
But the Dorval residence isn't the only one in the spotlight as of late; several CHSLDs across Quebec have seen multiple deaths and outbreaks of COVID-19.
Reports emerged Monday that a CHSLD in Montreal's LaSalle borough has had 26 patients die of COVID 19 amid 351 confirmed cases at the residence.
Neither Blais not Legault would on Monday criticize the West Island CIUSSS - or regional health board - that oversees Maison Herron for the deaths at the CHSLD, saying the agency acted according to the information at their disposal, and that the government would wait for the results of the various investigations into Maison Herron that are underway before making more detailed responses to the situation
Legault said Monday that righting the situation in the CHSLDs is complicated by several factors, including a lack of qualified staff, fewer young people studying to become workers in the homes, and the difficulty in increasing the salaries of orderlies in CHSLDs while engaging in broader negotiations with the province's public-sector unions.
There are now 360 people who have died of COVID-19 in Quebec, health authorities announced Monday, as confirmed cases in the province reached 13,557.
That’s up 32 from the 328 deaths reported Sunday; COVID-19 cases in Quebec rose 711 from the 12,846 announced a day earlier.
There are 879 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Monday, up 55 from the 824 reported Sunday; of those in a hospital, 226 are in intensive care, up nine from the 217 reported 24 hours earlier.
There are 2,645 people waiting for COVID-19 test results in Quebec as of Monday, up 395 from the 2,250 reported Sunday.
The number of people in Quebec who have recovered from COVID-19 as of Monday was 1,982, up 237 from the 1,745 recoveries reported Sunday.
Montreal remains the epicentre of COVID-19 in Quebec, with 6,393 cases; you can see a map with a regional breakdown of COVID-19 in the province here.