More mask-wearing in Quebec seniors' homes as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations rise
Province asks hospitals in 5 regions to increase number of beds for COVID-19 patients
Mask-wearing will be mandatory in common areas of private seniors' residences in several parts of Quebec starting next week, Quebec's Health Ministry said Friday, amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in those facilities.
The new mask order will affect seniors' homes, where residents have more autonomy than in long-term care homes, in regions such as Montreal, Laval, the Eastern Townships and Outaouais.
Health officials said there were 67 active cases of COVID-19 at seniors' residences across Quebec. Nearly half those cases were linked to an outbreak at Manoir Gouin in Montreal, where 32 residents have active cases of COVID-19 and three have died.
There have been no other deaths linked to active COVID-19 outbreaks at seniors' residences in the province, the Health Ministry added.
Health officials said there were 41 cases of COVID-19 linked to long-term care facilities, known as CHSLDs, and two deaths connected with active outbreaks in those centres.
One resident on the fifth floor of the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal has tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.
Those who came in close contact with the resident are being tested, but there are no other confirmed cases there, the spokesperson said.
Hospitalizations on the rise
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry Thursday said it had asked hospital managers in five regions, including Montreal, Laval and Outaouais, to increase the number of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients.
The increase is "primarily a result of the demand for intensive-care beds for COVID patients," said Marjorie Larouche, a spokesperson for the ministry.
Adding to the number of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients will reduce the number of beds available for other patients, she said.
A government health-care research institute, the INESSS, said Thursday that while the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province has stabilized after rising for two months, it expects the number of hospitalizations linked to the disease to continue rising over the next three weeks.