Ste. Anne’s Hospital is home to just over 400 patients, including around 100 veterans.
On Monday, the West Island health authority confirmed that the hospital is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, and multiple sources told Global News that many of the 14 infected patients are veterans.
“It’s a very vulnerable clientele — our veterans, especially veterans from World War II,” said Greg Kelley, West Island MNA.
“They’re not young in any sense of the imagination. They’re definitely very much older and they’re at a high risk.”
Though the health authority wouldn’t confirm, Global News was told that the outbreak is at the Remembrance Pavilion.
An orderly who wouldn’t speak on camera said perhaps the hospital should tighten restrictions on who is allowed in and out of the building, comparing the hospital to a Costco.
Diane Savard’s husband lives on the third floor and agrees.
“It will hurt if I can’t see my husband,” said Savard. “But I think everyone’s safety is more important.”
In a statement, the West Island health authority said infection control measures were quickly implemented in order to limit the spread of the outbreak.
“All residents who were in contact with the infected person were placed in isolation in their room and employees and residents who had been in contact with the infected person were also tested.”
Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors and informal caregivers, said the situation at the hospital is worrying.
“Everything has been done to limit the spread of the virus,” she said. “The situation remains fragile, but under control.
Patients’ rights advocate, Paul Brunet, said hospital officials need to ensure that facilities are rigorously following the rules.
“We’ve learned what we did not and should have not done (in the first wave),” he said. “We should stop transferring patients, stop transferring personnel and make sure that our personnel is properly trained.”