Twenty of the 30 residents of the Maimonides Geriatric Centre with active cases of COVID-19 were moved Sunday from the “hot zone” of the Côte-St-Luc long-term care centre to other institutions and the remaining 10 residents, after being evaluated by a physician, are now back in their rooms.
The hot zone, located on the seventh floor of Maimonides, has been temporarily closed in a bid to “break the cycle of infection” that led to the outbreak, a senior official of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal said in an email to families of residents on Saturday.
Eighteen of the 20 residents transferred were transferred to Hôtel-Dieu Hospital and two were transferred to the Jewish General Hospital, wrote Barbra Gold, director of the Support Program for the Autonomy of Seniors at the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, which administers Maimonides, along with the Jewish General and several other institutions.
“We hope that this action will lead to a faster resolution of the outbreak as it will decrease opportunities for exposure. This strategy has been used in other countries with success,” she wrote.
Gold said the residents transferred would be accompanied by the nurses and patient attendants who have been caring for them and would be “supported” by a manager, an infection-control professional, an adviser in nursing care and a physician.
The daughter of a Maimonides resident said she welcomes the transfer, but is concerned the move might not be enough to contain the virus.
“I’m glad that Dr. (Lawrence) Rosenberg made this decision, but I’m concerned that the nurses and orderlies who have been caring for these residents are moving with them,” said Joyce Shanks, a member of the Family Advocacy Committee. “There is already a shortage of personnel and this will make it worse.”
There should be more testing of people who work at Maimonides, she said. Testing is available, but not currently mandatory.
“We may be seen as a thorn , but we want to collaborate in the care of our loved ones,” she said.
Gold said in her Saturday email the decision to close the hot zone temporarily was made after consulting with public-health authorities, infectious-disease specialists and other health-care professionals.
She said further evaluations and consultations with these specialists have led them to believe that factors contributing to the outbreak include “a high density of very contagious individuals in a relatively small area (the seventh floor) that has not been built to accommodate them.”
She said a virtual town hall meeting with families of residents would be held “shortly.”
During the pandemic’s second wave, eight Maimonides residents have died of COVID-19. As well, 18 staff members and seven caregivers have tested positive for the virus.
On Thursday, the advocacy committee outlined its concerns at a news conference. Later that day, Maimonides announced a new measure requiring all caregivers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous two weeks. The requirement comes into effect Dec. 7.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020