­Quebec calls for ­military aid in ­long-term care homes

By Matthew McCully

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has requested the help of the Canadian military to make up for the labour shortfall in CHSLDs in the province.
While just a day ago the premier seemed optimistic, he explained that of more that 2,000 doctors and health workers who volunteered, only around 350 were willing to commit to working full-time for two weeks.
A small number of military personnel with medical training had already been deployed to Quebec long-term care facilities. Yesterday Legault asked for additional 1,000 Canadian Armed Forces members, even those without medical training, to help with general tasks in the homes.
While the situation in some CHSLDs is still critical, Legault said the situation is stable across the province, especially outside Montreal and Laval.
According to Legault, 74 per cent of the COVID-19-related deaths in Quebec came from Montreal and Laval.
If the situation remains stable, Legault said next week he will table a plan to gradually reopen schools. This would be done slowly, by region, he said.
Legault added that the return to school would be optional. “Anyone doesn’t want to send kids to school doesn’t have to,” he said.
Quebec now has 20,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 839 from the day before. Of those, 797 are in the Estrie region.
There were 93 new deaths, bringing the total in the province to 1,134.
There are currently 1,278 patients hospitalized because of COVID-19, 199 of which are in intensive care.
According to the Quebec Public Health Institute website, 4,291 have recovered from the virus.
A breakdown of the COVID-19 situation by municipality is available on the website https://www.santeestrie.qc.ca/.

Published in the Thursday, April 23 edition of The Record.


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