COVID-19 in Quebec: “We need you”, Legault calls on health care workers to help homes for the aged


  • Quebec has 14,248 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A total of 435 people died. There are 936 people in the hospital, including 230 in intensive care. Here is a guide to the numbers.
  • As long-term care facilities have become the epicenter of COVID-19 in the province, the families of CHSLD Herron residents are questioning government oversight.
  • Mechanics, landscapers, garden centers and home builders are expected to return to work in the coming days.
  • The Nunavik health agency reported five new cases, bringing the total to 11.
  • Homeless defenders in Montreal say more needs to be done to protect those who have nowhere to stay.

Quebec Premier François Legault says the state of long-term care homes remains his government’s priority as he attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Legault said Tuesday that there are more than 1,250 employees unable to work in CHSLDs because they are sick.

He reiterated his call for help from recently retired healthcare workers and others, including teachers with healthcare experience, to help him.

Quebec now has 14,248 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A total of 435 people have died – an increase of 75 deaths since Monday, the largest day-long jump since the pandemic was declared. There are 936 people in the hospital, including 230 in intensive care – four more than on Monday.

Legault said it would publish and maintain a complete list of CHSLDs that are considered “hot spots” for COVID-19. He said there are 41 in the province.

Horacio Arruda, the province’s director of public health, said that the government would gradually authorize caregivers in CHSLDs after introducing a ban last month. He said strict rules will be imposed on these visits, including all caregivers undergoing testing for COVID-19.

Legault said that this does not mean that people will be allowed to visit relatives: visits will be reserved for recognized caregivers.

This is a developing story. An older version continues, below.

The provincial government should provide journalists with a list of long-term care homes in Quebec that have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks today.

Today’s briefing comes as LaSalle Hospital prepares to open a specialized unit for residents of Montreal West Island long-term care homes with cases COVID-19.

The regional health council, the CIUSSS de l ‘Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, announced the new measure on Tuesday morning, saying that it “would give these patients the best chance of recovery”.

The Red Cross has been recruited to help set up the new unit and work is starting today to prepare the unit for up to 25 patients next week, said CIUSSS.

Much attention was paid to an outbreak at CHSLD Herron in Dorval – a private long-term care facility where 31 residents died in less than a month. Several other long-term care homes in the West Island are also experiencing serious outbreaks.

The CIUSSS and the owners of the CHSLD Herron have clashed over who is responsible for the horrible conditions denounced by the health workers who intervened in Herron, but the families wonder why no more was done sooner, by anyone.

The CIUSSS took over the management of the CHSLD Herron on March 29 after its administration asked for help due to severe staff shortages.

On Monday, a couple greets their loved ones at the Herron seniors’ residence in Dorval. (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press)

But it wasn’t until Saturday that CIUSSS CEO Lynne McVey spoke to reporters. And just the night before, board administrators discovered that there had been 31 deaths at home in less than three weeks.

“All I know is that the lack of care was a problem that continued even after the arrival of the CIUSSS on March 29, and the lack of care was acute,” said Peter Wheeland, who withdrew his mother of the residence a few days ago and brought her to St. Mary’s hospital in an interview on As it happens.

“I mean I can’t believe the government was powerless to do anything just because it was a private institution. “

An owner of the Katasa group, which manages the CHSLD Herron, spoke on Monday, saying that the group had done everything it could.

“It is not easy for me and my family to be called murderers,” said Katherine Chowieri. “We tried to collaborate with the CIUSSS, we asked them for help.

Prime Minister François Legault said on Monday that there was a difference between asking for help and revealing that 31 people had died, which the CIUSSS only discovered after a court order allowing them to access the patient records at the end of last week.

He blamed much of the province’s nursing home problems on the fact that there were staff shortages, namely a lack of personal support staff. He said it’s a career that has been difficult to attract due to low wages and heavy workload.

Deaths continue to climb in nursing homes

Radio-Canada has learned that 33 people have died at the University Institute of Geriatrics in Montreal since March 25.

CHSLD Laflèche in Shawinigan, another long-term care home hard hit by the virus, killed a total of 27 people.

Some families say relatives have suffered as a result of the province’s ban on visitors, including family caregivers, to residents in care since the province went into emergency mode on March 14. They say these people have provided care that homes could not because of these staff shortages.

But Marguerite Blais, minister responsible for seniors in Quebec, said it was an important step to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We have to listen public health. This is very important because we don’t want another wave. We do not want this situation to return, “Blais told reporters on Monday.

Resumption of residential construction

Although Legault has still not said with certainty whether the children will return to school this year, more people have definitely returned to work.

The list of new services deemed essential now includes:

  • Residential construction by April 20, assuming a project is scheduled to be completed by July 31.
  • Landscaping and lawn maintenance, including pool stores, starting April 15.
  • Garden centers and nurseries, from April 15.
  • Products, parts and other equipment necessary for transport and logistics services, as of April 15.
  • Service stations, vehicle maintenance and repair, tow trucks and roadside assistance, as of April 15.

The changes mean that people can finally finish their renovations, buy plants for their gardens, start gardening and change their winter tires.

Peak case expected this weekend

Horacio Arruda, director of public health for Quebec, says that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province should peak this weekend, as expected.

However, he said he expected to see a spike in death and hospitalization in the coming weeks, as it could take time for complications from the disease to occur.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here