Quebec relaxes restrictions on seniors’ homes

By Gordon Lambie
Quebec relaxes restrictions on seniors’ homes

Among the other changes that have been rolled out or planned for the near future, the Government of Quebec announced a revision, this week, coming to the pandemic restrictions for seniors’ homes.

As of next Monday, Feb. 21, the recommended visitor limit for people living in private seniors’ homes (RPAs)will be increased to a maximum of 10 at a time, and ten residents will be allowed to sit together at the same table in dining areas, provided that tables are at least a metre apart. Caregivers and visitors will also be allowed in common areas so long as they follow the sanitary measures in effect.

On Feb. 28 those same rules will be expanded to include the province’s long-term care homes (CHSLDS) and other resources for seniors.

Brendalee Piironen, Executive Director of the Wales Home, said that although the changes are a big step, she trusts that the community will respect the safety of the residents.

“We’re still nervous, but mental health has to come into play as well,” said Piironen, noting that the long-term isolation of residents has been a challenge as well over the last two years.

“I’m hopeful that people will be respectful and keep their guards up,” she added expressing a hope that people will not come to the home if they have any Covid symptoms.

The government announcement also changed isolation rules for seniors living in care facilities, reducing the required isolation time for a resident who has had a primary contact with someone who is Covid-positive and who is both asymptomatic and adequately vaccinated to five days (versus 10 days for someone who is not adequately vaccinated.)

There were 1,902 people in hospital with COVID-19 across Quebec on Thursday, a decrease of 93 compared to Wednesday. Of that total, 124 people were in intensive care, a decrease of five.

In the Eastern Townships there were only 85 people with the virus spread across five different hospitals in the region, the lowest number there have been so far this year. Four of those people were in intensive care.
There were 22 new deaths recorded across the province, for a total of 13,812 since the start of the pandemic, and two new deaths in the townships, bringing the local total to 528.

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