MONTREAL -- A newly-built private seniors’ residence in Cote-des-Neiges has been set up to serve as an overflow for the Jewish General Hospital.

The City of Montreal has fast-tracked the occupancy permit of Le Glenmount at 3530 Jean-Talon Blvd. West so the hospital can use the beds for patients who do not require hospital-level care. 

“I immediately contacted our permits director,” explained Lionel Perez, leader of opposition party Ensemble Montreal “Normally this would take well over a week, this was done in a day and a half.” 

The unit will not be for COVID-19 patients, but instead will be for non-urgent, elderly patients that are not infected with the virus. THe hospital wants to reserve and control COVID-19 in the hospital.

There are 66 beds that will be made available immediately; another 40 will be ready by April 6. Those beds will free up space at the Jewish General Hospital for patients in need of intensive and urgent healthcare. 

The situation is changing rapidly, but as of Thursday afternoon, the Jewish General Hospital was treating 39 COVID-19 patients, 17 of which were in intensive care.

The rapid opening of the space is "crucial" for the Jewish General Hospital, "whose numbers are increasing exponentially," according to a statement from the regional health board, the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

"It was done seamlessly, effortlessly and with the understanding of the urgency of the situation," said Perez.

The overflow unit was the idea of the Jewish General Hospital. Construction permits on the building were issued over a year ago. The building is almost complete, with only cosmetic fixes left, and has been inspected by the city and fire department in the last day and a half.

- With files from CTV News Montreal's Kelly Greig