About twenty residents infected with COVID-19 in a CHSLD in Montérégie struggling with an outbreak were unexpectedly transferred to another residential center, which beneficiary attendants and the Council for the Protection of Patients deplore.
“A resident left with his small sealed blue bag which contained [ses effets personnels]. He didn’t understand anything. He didn’t know where he was going. It doesn’t make sense, ”testifies a beneficiary attendant at the Gertrude-Lafrance CHSLD in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
She requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Twenty-three elderly people as well as 13 employees of this establishment have contracted the virus since November 21.
The residents were all transferred “outside the CHSLD in order to avoid the spread of the virus inside the center,” said the Integrated Center for Health and Social Services of Montérégie-Center.
“Fear in the eyes”
According to our information, most of the seniors would have been moved to the CHSLD Sainte-Croix, in Marieville, where there are three active cases according to the site of the Government of Quebec. About twenty kilometers separate the two establishments.
Others went to the hospital, depending on their state of health.
A second person who works at the Gertrude-Lafrance CHSLD says he saw “fear in the eyes” of residents when they left.
“Some were in crisis and asked, ‘Where am I going? Why am I leaving? ” Already that confinement has an impact on their mental health. It’s another shock for them, ”she says.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services requests that residents remain in their CHSLDs in a hot zone, but an establishment “may choose to [les] transfer due to a particular context ”.
The importance of stability
The situation is not taken lightly at the ministry, which says it is sensitive “to the importance of the stability of the environments for the people who reside there”.
Families must be informed when traveling.
Me Paul G. Brunet, of the Council for the Protection of the Sick, finds it disrespectful that neither residents nor their families are at the heart of these decisions.
“We move them out of their house without asking their permission. We shock, we hurt, we cause prejudice to these [résidents], and this, in the name of a certain security, ”he argues.
He considers the solution questionable, all the more so as staff movements between establishments and between hot and cold areas persist during the second wave of the pandemic. This is, according to him, the main source of contamination.
The football player and doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif worked at CHSLD Gertrude-Lafrance during the first wave.