Residents stuck in CHSLDs over the holidays | CBC News

This holiday season people who live in CHSLDs will not be allowed to leave their residences to visit friends and family.

As of Dec. 23 only one person can visit a resident at a time with a maximum of two visitors per day.

The wife of a resident at CHSLD Manoir de l’age d’or in Montreal told Radio-Canada she feels the restrictions are necessary.

“For me, it gives me comfort knowing that he is protected and that this time next year I can still visit him and there won’t be an occasion to grieve,” she said, as she dropped off a special Christmas Eve meal for her husband.

CHSLDs are Centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée. They are long-term care homes, some provincially run, others privately, that provide services for the frailest patients. In the first wave of the pandemic, they saw some of the highest death tolls in the country.

The move by the provincial Health Ministry to tighten restrictions comes after COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket across Quebec — reaching a record of 10,000 new cases today.

The Quebec government says residents will only be permitted to leave under “exceptional circumstances.”

While families grapple with the new measures, health experts say the restrictions are a must to keep residents safe and curb the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Dr. Élise Boulanger of CHSLD Father Dowd, says she understands the province’s decision.

“It’s a directive, even though I don’t like it because a lot of them it might be their last Christmas that they may spend with their families, I think it’s probably for the best,” she told CBC.

She says the good news is most long-term care residents have received their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We know the devastating effect that it has when COVID goes into a home […] It’s very dangerous often when there’s a case there’s often many more by the time we’re able to figure it out,” she said.  

For that reason, vaccine passports are now mandatory for visitors entering CHSLDs.

Paul Brunet, a patients’ rights advocat, echoes Boulanger’s sentiment. “It’s more balanced, we’re not expulsing close caregivers, we’re admitting visitors in a restricted fashion.”

People visiting residents are not allowed in common areas and must stay in the resident’s room.

Read More: Residents stuck in CHSLDs over the holidays | CBC News

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