At least three people at a retirement residence in the Ile-Bizard-Ste-Genevieve borough have tested positive for COVID-19.
One worker and two residents in a closed section of the Vent de l’Ouest retirement home have contracted the virus. Meanwhile, the Quebec government is injecting $133M to try to help long-term care facilities cope with coronavirus outbreaks.
“It’s a difficult situation not just for Vent de l’Ouest, but for all operators of residences and public health care institutions of the entire planet,” said Rita Kataroyan, vice-president of marketing for Le Groupe Maurice, which operates more than 30 senior residences acros the province.
Residents were informed one week ago that a worker contracted the novel coronavirus. They were told a few days later that a second case was confirmed, when a resident in the assisted-living section contracted it.
A third case was confirmed Monday afternoon, when a second of the 38 assisted-living residents tested positive.
“As soon as we got confirmation of the test results being positive we immediately deployed a strict contingency plan with the cooperation of public health authorities,” said Kataroyan, adding that the worker and residents are no longer on site.
“They still haven’t returned to the residence. We have been told that their health state has stabilized, which is great,” she said, before receiving confirmation about the third positive case.
The Quebec government announced a $133M emergency investment on Monday afternoon to help nursing homes cope during the crisis.
A portion of that — $40M — will be destined to certified private nursing homes while $20M will be handed over to uncertified long-term care facilities.
“What we’re saying is that the best way possible is to isolate those people from the others in the [retirement] residences and we’re helping them with additional measures and we will find those additional measures in those residences,” said Quebec’s health minister Danielle McCann.
Some family members of other residents are concerned. Renee Menard’s 81-year-old mother has severe lung issues and has been confined to her apartment for more than two weeks.
She would have liked the families of all residents contacted, but the company admits that while all residents were told directly, only the families of those in the assisted-living section were informed directly, by email.
“She thought everyone was okay, she was in quarantine and she hadn’t really been out of the building so she thought she was being safe by not exiting the building but little did she know there were actually cases inside the building,” said Menard.
While her mother seems to be in good health, news of a third case comes as a shock to her.
“I am very concerned that maybe she or other residents may have contracted the disease,” said Menard.
A fourth patient at the home who showed symptoms on Monday is still awaiting test results.
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