The situation is dire at the CHSLD Manoir Harwood in Vaudreuil, where 39 of its 58 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and eight have died.
Around 15 of the facility’s employees have also contracted the virus, including its owner, Jean-Francois Blanchard.
Blanchard told Global News the private centre saw its first few cases on April 5 and quickly alerted the local public health authorities.
As of Tuesday, there were 12 cases.
“Even if you have the best practices in place, the best people working for you – people were working so, so hard, the families’ collaboration was enormous. But unfortunately, we still got hit,” said Blanchard.
The CISSS Montérégie-Ouest said it has been getting the full co-operation of the owner and the facility’s employees. The CISSS has sent additional nurses, nursing assistants and doctors to the facility to help out until further notice.
Earlier this week, the public health authority tested all of the residents and staff and found that many of the carriers were asymptomatic.
“Most of the new cases were people with no symptoms, so it was really hard to know the real portrait of the situation,” said Jade St-Jean, spokesperson for the CISSS Montérégie-Ouest.
The owner of the facility told Global News he is currently isolating at home but work is continuing at the centre to contain the virus.
“At the moment, we are re-organizing the centre,” Blanchard said. “We are splitting up residents and staff into different zones, there are two different kitchens and we are decontaminating everything. We’re doing the best we can.
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“It’s very, very difficult, but we aren’t giving up … We are still fighting.”