Coronavirus: Situation now ‘under control’ at Dollard-des-Ormeaux seniors’ residence, spokesperson says

Authorities and families say things have improved at Vigi DDO. Apr 26, 2020. Dan Spector / Global News

Though it now has 131 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases among residents, and 135 employees off the job, Vigi Dollard-des-Ormeaux says things are now “under control”.

“They’re hydrating, feeding them, checking for bedsores and everything, so they’re taken care of now. I hope it continues like that,” said Karen Squires, whose 90-year-old mother celebrated her 90th birthday at Vigi DDO on Saturday.

With huge staffing challenges and a steep spike in COVID-19 cases, Squires had been concerned her mother might not make it to her 90th birthday. Her mother has COVID-19, but now seems stable.

Last week, the West Island Regional Health Authority (CIUSSS) dispatched a team of medical professionals to Vigi DDO.

“The collaboration is very good with the management of the CHSLD Vigi DDO, despite the difficult situation related to COVID-19,” said West Island CIUSSS spokesperson Julien Nepveu-Villeneuve. “The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is participating in this effort by mobilizing between 22 and 26 professionals per shift on site.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Families fear DDO long-term care residence could become next Herron

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He said MUHC teams include nurses, doctors and professionals acting as orderlies.

“There’s doctors going in there, geriatric doctors, nurses from everywhere, the Children’s Hospital, you name it. Everyone’s chipping in really,” said Squires.

For some, however, the help came too late. Thirty-year-old Korey Johnston, whose grandmother was a resident of Vigi DDO, says on April 21 he got a distressing call from Dr. Michel Pagé, who had been dispatched to the facility.

“He said there were no staff, and people were on the brink of dying because of malnutrition. He basically said they didn’t get food, they were locked in their rooms, he was by himself giving the medication,” Johnson told Global News.

He got news his grandmother had contracted COVID-19, and on April 24, that she had died. He thinks the home should have reacted to COVID-19 faster.

“They took too long to act on anything. The CEO said, ‘oh, it’s not our fault, the media takes it out of proportion.’ That’s a little too much. At least take responsibility that you screwed up,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: Quebec families worried about proper care at West Island long-term care home

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“We are in position to respond to the needs of residents with the support of the West Island CIUSSS and the MUHC. All our efforts are directed to responding to the needs of residents,” Vigi SantĂ© spokesperson Anick Drouin said in an email.

At the unveiling of a new COVID-19 field hospital in Lasalle, West Island CIUSSS President Lynne Mcvey echoed the sentiment.

“The situation is stabilizing. Red Cross will be helping us with Vigi DDO as well,” she said.

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