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Westmount seniors residence reports 10 additional COVID-19 deaths after data transmission ‘delay’

Place Kensington in Westmount as seen on Aug. 12, 2020.
Place Kensington in Westmount as seen on Aug. 12, 2020. Jonah Aspler/Global News

Ten additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus have been declared at a private seniors residence in Westmount following a “delay in the transmission of data,” according to the regional health authority for the area.

The CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal confirmed in a statement Wednesday there have been a total of 19 deaths attributable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, at Place Kensington.

“The problem was discovered during a followup by the CIUSSS, which noticed a discrepancy between the public health data and that of the CIUSSS,” the regional authority said.

The 19 deaths at the luxury seniors residence on Ste-Catherine Street occurred in the months of April and May, with the last death on May 16.

READ MORE: Quebec ombudsperson to investigate coronavirus crisis response in seniors residences

At the height of the pandemic, the CIUSSS said it had to intervene at Place Kensington and provide assistance in the form of nursing and administrative staff.

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“The absence of several members of staff from the residence is said to have contributed to the delay,” the regional health authority said.

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Place Kensington no longer has any active COVID-19 cases and the situation is “under control,” according to the CIUSSS.

“Since June 19, all residents are considered cured,” it added.

Since the pandemic first bore down in March, the new coronavirus has killed more than 5,600 Quebecers — more than any other province in Canada.

The majority of deaths initially stemmed from long-term care homes and seniors residences in the province. The health crisis has shed light on the state of some facilities in Quebec and the challenges they face when it comes to staffing.

READ MORE: Quebec long-term care homes grappling with major challenges, military report outlines

The pandemic prompted the government to ask for military assistance in nursing homes and to create a training program to recruit 10,000 new orderlies.

Quebec Premier François Legault said Tuesday the province intends to conduct an investigation into the impact of COVID-19 in the province’s long-term care homes but remained evasive about the form it would take and the timing.

“There will be a detailed investigation,” he said, adding that it could wait until after a possible second wave of the virus.

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In May, the province’s ombudsperson launched an “impartial and independent” investigation into the handling of the health crisis in embattled nursing homes by the government and its health network. The full probe is expected to be complete by fall 2021.

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With files from the Canadian Press