Montreal retirement home in lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak

·2 min read
 Manoir Gouin is a retirement home in northern Montreal that houses independent or semi-independent residents, most of whom were vaccinated against COVID-19. (Kwabena Oduro/CBC - image credit)
Manoir Gouin is a retirement home in northern Montreal that houses independent or semi-independent residents, most of whom were vaccinated against COVID-19. (Kwabena Oduro/CBC - image credit)

All residents of a Montreal retirement home are in isolation after 35 of them tested positive for COVID-19. At least six are in hospital.

Health authorities were on site Wednesday testing everybody in the facility, located on Laurentien Boulevard

Manoir Gouin is a 113-apartment complex, located in the Cartierville neighbourhood. It is for independent or semi-independent seniors aged 65 years and over.

Public health measures are in full effect and clinical monitoring of signs and symptoms is also being carried out rigorously, according to a spokesperson with the local health authority, the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

There are signs on the walls warning who is contagious, and the CIUSSS has brought in more personnel to assist with the outbreak.

The CIUSSS spokerson said the majority of residents are vaccinated.

But it's still not surprising that there is an outbreak, said Dr. David Lussier, from the University Institute of Geriatrics of Montreal.

"We know that there is still a lot of community transmission with COVID," he said.

With so many cases, he said, it was inevitable it would get into retirement and long-term care homes.

He said it is important that all residents and staff respect public health measures. It's also crucial, he added, that all staff are vaccinated — something that will soon be mandated.

At the same time, it's important for residents to be vaccinated, Lussier said, but some have refused to get inoculated.

Despite the setbacks, Lussier explained, "we are not in the same situation as we were in the first wave" when more people were getting seriously ill or dying.

Lussier said he doesn't know the exact details surrounding the outbreak at Gouin, but it could be that of the 35 positive cases, not everybody is symptomatic or seriously ill because they were vaccinated.

"We know the vaccine is excellent at protecting against severe disease, but it is not as good at protecting against a very benign form of COVID," he said.

Regardless, he said Quebec should be thinking about offering a third dose of the vaccine to seniors and not just those who are immunocompromised or on dialysis.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé says is worried by the increasing number of outbreaks in seniors homes.

He says it serves as a reminder about how important it is to remain careful despite the recent plateau in new COVID-19 cases in the province.

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