Residents at Ste-Anne's Hospital think more could be done to contain COVID-19 outbreak
MONTREAL -- Ste-Anne's Hospital, home to many veterans, is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.
“It's a vulnerable clientele. Our World War II veterans are definitely on in age, over 80-years-old,” said Jacques-Cartier MNA Greg Kelley. “They click a lot of the boxes for being high-risk.”
The regional health authority in charge of the facility reported 13 residents have tested positive for the virus. Residents who have come in contact with an infected person are in isolation and all staff and residents who had contact are being tested.
One staff member who asked to remain anonymous said case numbers are being underreported and that the number of positive cases stands at 19.
Resident Wolf Solkin, who is president of the hospital's users' committee, said he had heard the same number.
“They think they have it under control but if they did, they wouldn't have 19 cases,” he said.
Solkin said he isn't happy with what the hospital has done during the pandemic's second wave, saying there has been a staffing shortage and the hospital has hired workers such as orderlies from an outside agency.
“We used to have a ban on agency personnel but they've thrown that overboard,” he said.
Solkin said he's also seen the limit of four people per elevator no longer being respected.
He's also called for mandatory testing for all staff, but that hasn't happened.
“It stems from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they don't want to intrude on one's privacy,” he said. “Well hell, what about the right and freedom to live? This is a time of crisis and not a time for political correctness.”
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said there is prompt action to test as many people as possible during outbreaks like the one at Ste-Anne's.
“Depending on the size of the outbreak, we decide if they can act locally or... if they need external help from the SWAT team,” he said.