The key to preventing COVID-19? Planning way ahead, says one Montreal care home

Across Quebec, nearly 5,000 seniors living in long-term care facility have died from COVID-19.

Nearly all of the facilities in Montreal saw outbreaks, leading to the city’s status as the Canadian epicentre of the pandemic.

One local home, however, never saw a single case: the Pavillon Camille Lefebvre, at the Lachine hospital.

What was the key? Foresight, say the home’s staff. When the virus started to spread in Europe—before it hit Canada—they didn’t wait but immediately implemented strict measures.

“We told them, ‘You have to treat each other like each of you have the COVID, [that] the patients were positive,’” said nurse manager Judith Morlese.

“Because this was the only way that we were going to stop this from coming in, is if you used all the necessary measures.”

Also key was offering full-time work to staff—they were told that if they wanted to keep working at the home, they needed to commit to not working at any other facilities. They were offered full-time jobs to eliminate the need to cobble together part-time work.

Managers at the facility described in more detail recently the system they set up—lessons that may come in helpful in the next few months if case numbers surge again.

Watch the video above to see them describe the lessons they learned.

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