Four more die of COVID-19 at Maimonides care home; families protest outside

Four more patients at Maimonides care home in Cote-Saint-Luc have died, bringing the total to eight in the second wave, according to an update sent to residents' families on Thursday.

It was the same day families held a rally outside the home, protesting what they said was understaffing and asking for emergency measures to be taken. 

There are also several more patients being treated in hospital as opposed to the seventh-floor "hot zone" the care home has established. Earlier this week, Maimonides said one person had been transferred to hospital, and eight are there currently.

The CIUSSS of Central-West Montreal confirmed that eight people were transferred to the Jewish General Hospital, "where they are better equipped to deal with more acute cases," said the CIUSSS' spokesman, Barry Morgan.

"On behalf of all of us we wish to offer our sincere condolences to the families," said the three administrators who signed the letter.

There are 39 active infections, while 15 people have recovered.

There are also 18 staff members of various job descritions who are quarantining at home, and seven caregivers -- which can mean paid helpers or family members. 

Earlier this week, Maimonides and the CIUSSS, which runs it, sent out an extensive update on the measures in place there to limit infection and how they're improved since the first wave.

There's one new measure, they announced Thursday: all registered caregivers must provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results within the previous two weeks.

The measure will kick in just over two weeks from now.

"Please be advised that as of Monday, December 14, all registered caregivers (those who are paid, as well as family members) who wish to be granted entry to [Maimonides] must be tested for COVID-19 once every two weeks," the letter said.

"Caregivers will have to present written proof of their negative test results. They will also have to sign a consent form allowing any positive test results to be shared with the relevant site."

Caregivers, along with staff, can get tested right at Maimonides, three afternoons a week.

Quebec's health ministry has issued directives "to offer increased screening for COVID-19," the letter said.

They also said a virtual town hall will be held soon.

Family members who showed up to the rally said they weren't comfortable with the rules in place and that they felt the virus was spinning out of control. Cote-Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein spoke.

Watch the video above to see CTV's evening report about the protest.

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