After dealing with several Covid-19 outbreaks during April and May, the Lakeshore General Hospital is now facing another battle. This time three units have cases, with four respiratory therapists also infected as of November 30th, according to a Montreal Gazette report. A source, who granted them an interview ‘on condition of anonymity’ (as they were not authorized to speak to the media) told them the ‘respiratory therapists are working throughout the hospital’ and suggested ‘that they might have inadvertently spread the coronavirus’.
“In order to know the extent of the spread, they should do massive testing but they won’t,” the source said. “This continual reluctance to screen properly has been displayed again and again at the Lakeshore. They just do not want to know because they fear they’d have to shut the place down due to so many staff testing positive.”
However, in response to some questions, Annie Charbonneau, (spokesperson for the West Island health authority in charge of the Lakeshore) wrote in an email to the Gazette that ’employees are encouraged to get tested regularly’ and that ‘staff are reminded of this message frequently, in addition to being reminded to handle personal protective equipment with the utmost rigour for the prevention of infections’. She declined to provide them with the number of staff or patients infected or identify the three wards (for reasons of confidentiality) but said that ‘crews are now disinfecting the three units, and the hospital has suspended all admissions and visits to them – unless there are humanitarian reasons’. Officials have yet to identify the source of the outbreaks and even then, ‘normal clinical activities are expected to continue at the Lakeshore’ she stated.
This all comes in the face of a growing number of outbreaks at some long-term care residences, including the CHSLD Manoir de l’Ouest de l’île in Pierrefonds, reporting a total of 33 infected residents (almost half of their residents) to date and the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Cote Saint-Luc with 30 residents (recently transferred to the Jewish General and Hôtel Dieu hospitals) and 10 deaths during the second wave of the pandemic.