“This was such a terrible case in the first wave,” Christian Dubé said. The Quebec Health Minister was referring to the announcement this past Monday that the CHSLD Herron in Dorval will close its doors to its long-term residents as of this Saturday, November 14th. A letter, by owners the Katasa Group, issued a letter to employees and residents noting the closure and that the West Island Regional Health Board (CIUSSS) will take over the day to day operations as well as finding the current residents a new home.
“The decision, which was not easy to make, can be explained by the current state of operations,” noted the letter to Herron residents. There were few details in the letter. A provincial commissioned report on the CHSLD Herron’s outbreak of coronavirus last spring that resulted in 38 deaths of senior citizens was released at the end of September. The report, penned by Sylvain Gagnon, noted that one of the main reasons for the deaths and subsequent abandonment by staff was “organizational negligence.”
There were 38 deaths confirmed occurred during the early spring between March 26th and April 16th. The report noted that when the West Island Regional Health Board (CIUSSS) officials arrived to inspect the premises of the Dorval based senior’s residence, there were only three employees present to handle more than 120 residents. Many residents were found to “soiled, because their incontinence briefs had overflowed and the beds were dirty and the stains suggested it was several days old.
“When the incontinence briefs were changed, several residents had burns on their skin and the hygiene of the genital areas had not been done adequately,” the report noted. During the early days of the crisis, staff did not have enough PPEs, something that is “imperative that such provisions be sufficient for worst-case scenarios.” It was also suggested that health boards “should have more power to intervene in a crisis”. CHSLD Herron was placed into trusteeship by the West Island Health Board in April.