Staff assures families at Maimonides long-term care home after COVID-19 outbreak infects 50 people

Officials at Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Cote-St-Luc are reassuring family members everything is being done to protect residents after a major COVID-19 outbreak.

As many as 50 residents have contracted COVID-19 at Maimonides in the second wave alone.

Management says the facility is well prepared for the second wave, despite recent claims of staffing shortages.

“Because of the new PABs (orderlies) that came into our system with the Legault program, we did add a total of 70 full-time PABs, so in terms of that job category we're actually overstaffing on many shifts,” said Maimonides site coordinator Jennifer Clarke.

In a letter, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, the head of the regional health authority that runs Maimonides, said everything is being done to help residents recover.

Rosenberg also said staff are not moving between hot and cold zones.

Family members of residents, however, say they don’t believe it.

“We've had instances of nurses having to be on different floors on different days. One floor has infections, the next floor doesn't,” claimed Joyce Shanks, who is the daughter of a resident.

On-site testing is available to staff and caregivers, and when there is an outbreak in a unit, all staff and residents are tested.

“Everyone entering the building should be tested on a weekly basis, mandatory,” said Moris Azouz, the son of a resident

Clarke said that’s not so simple.

“Legally we cannot mandate testing, but it's highly encouraged. In the situation of an outbreak, however, we do require mandatory testing for staff,” she explained.

That’s doesn’t ease family members' concerns.

“It's not okay,” said Shanks. “It's an illusion that it's okay. If it was okay we would have infection contained to maybe one wing on a floor where a few people got infected.”

The first wave saw dozens of Maimonides residents die because of COVID-19.

Four residents have died during the second wave. 

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