COVID-19 in Quebec: the death toll exceeds 1,000; 850 dead were in long-term care

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  • Quebec has 20,126 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,041 people have died. Of these, 850 were residents of long-term care facilities.
  • There are 1,224 people hospitalized, including 201 in intensive care. Here is a guide to the numbers.
  • The College of Physicians of Quebec studies practices at CHSLD Herron and the Montreal Geriatric Institute.
  • Montreal mayor Valérie Plante is looking for ways to revive the city’s economy.
  • Construction workers on residential projects are back to work everywhere in Quebec.

Quebec marked a dismal step on Tuesday, when Premier François Legault revealed that 102 other people died as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to over 1,000 in the province.

Legault said about 850 of the 1,041 people who died were residents of long-term care homes, called CHSLDs, or other types of retirement homes.

Among the CHSLDs affected, Legault stated that the majority of COVID-19 cases are found in approximately 80 establishments. He stated that the personnel shortages that have paralyzed many CHSLDs are slowly being corrected.

“We are continuing to deploy health workers to homes for the aged,” he said.

“The situation is increasingly under control. “

Outside of these long-term care homes, Legault said, the situation is more stable and his government continues to look for ways to kick-start the economy and lift restrictions.

He said the government was preparing a plan, based on public health recommendations, to gradually reopen schools and day care centers in the weeks and months to come.

“Of course, we still need time to make sure the pandemic is under control before we reopen the economy and schools,” said Legault.

But he said it is still possible that the province will restart the schools, in one form or another, before the end of the current year.

However, it excludes the possibility of opening them in the middle of summer.

Order of inquiry of doctors and nurses

Professional orders representing doctors and nurses in the province announced Tuesday that they are jointly investigating two Montreal facilities where dozens of elderly people in care have died in recent weeks.

The Ordre des médecins du Québec, the College of Physicians (CMQ), and two separate prescriptions for nurses and licensed practical nurses said they would review practices at CHSLD Herron in Dorval and the Montreal Geriatrics Institute, where there have been dozens of deaths, and the treatment of residents due to staffing shortages has been under close scrutiny.

“The College is very concerned about the situation of seniors living in long-term care homes. This is a particularly vulnerable segment of the population, and our role is to ensure that residents of all CHSLDs have access to the same quality care, ”Dr. Mauril Gaudreault, said the president of the CMQ in a communicated.

Last week, a CBC Montreal investigation revealed that workers at the Herron have been caring for patients without personal protective equipment for weeks, while the coronavirus was spreading through the facility.

Nine Herron employees who spoke to the CBC said that they did not know which residents had tested positive for COVID-19 and had staff so limited on certain shifts that they were unable to meet basic needs some 130 residents.

Across Quebec, at least 4,000 residents of long-term care homes have been infected, the Prime Minister said Monday, and 4,000 health workers in these facilities are also sick, according to La Presse calculations.

Even with replacement workers, the system remained short of 2,000 employees, said Legault. He said that the CHSLDs still needed help, despite the help of many medical specialists and members of the armed forces.

He said that many doctors intervened to help and that others offered to volunteer between their regular shifts, but the CHSLDs need more people to engage full time in a single institution, to avoid spreading the virus from one establishment to another.

The province is also considering sending public servants working in non-frontline areas of the health care system to help at home.

Another class action in progress

Among long-term care homes in the province, the CHSLD Laurendeau in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville district of Montreal has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 162 of its residents infected.

CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée is second on the list, with 158 cases – the equivalent of 82% of the total number of beds in the home.

The public installation is now the subject of a class action lawsuit. The son of one of 67 people who have died at the residence since the start of the pandemic submitted the request for prosecution through his lawyer on Monday.

He is awaiting the approval of a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec before he can go ahead.

The request accuses both the long-term residence and the CISSS of Laval of not having offered employees adequate protective equipment and of neglecting to quarantine symptomatic residents.

A separate application for prosecution has been filed against CHLSD Herron.

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