Laval hospital dealing with COVID-19 outbreak

The union representing employees at Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval believes the outbreak may be linked to teams splitting their time between units.

Union believes outbreak at Cité-de-la-Santé hospital linked to teams working on multiple units

Nova Scotia is looking to hire about 100 new nurses to help keep up with the increase in COVID-19 testing. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

At least 10 patients and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval. 

Over the past week, five patients at the hospital, as well as four employees and one doctor, tested positive. 

According to information obtained by Radio-Canada, an employee in the hospital's 30N wing — the general medicine wing — tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 25.

"As soon as it was informed of the situation, the infections prevention and control team rapidly mobilized," Pierre-Yves Séguin, spokesperson for the CISSS de Laval, said in an email. 

"The CISSS proceeded to deploy a large-scale preventive testing procedure for all personnel and users affected." 

Séguin said all the employees and patients of the unit are tested daily. All five patients who tested positive were immediately transferred to the dedicated hot zone at the hospital. 

The CISSS also identified all visitors who had been to the unit in the past 14 days and encouraged them to get tested.

Marjolaine Aubé, president of the union representing hospital workers (CISSS de Laval-CSN), believes the outbreak might be linked to the use of "floating teams" — teams that work in multiple hospital units. 

"One employee of the floating team in 30N came from the oncology unit on another floor," said Aubé.

"The employer has stabilized upcoming schedules; no one will move between units....That's what we're asking for and it should be that way all the time." 

Aubé said the hospital should use the situation in the province's long-term care homes earlier in the pandemic as an example. 

"In the CHSLDs, we stopped using floating teams; there will be stability in the units until May 2021. Can't we do the same in hospitals?" she said. 

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Daniel Boily and Davide Gentile

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