Residents in Montreal seniors’ home seeking loosening of COVID-19 restrictions

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WATCH ABOVE: Senior citizens at a long-term care home in Montreal’s east end are speaking out against what they call unnecessary COVID-19 restrictions. The vast majority have been fully vaccinated but claim they're not being granted any additional freedoms, and deplore that mandatory mask-wearing and physical distancing is still being enforced. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Jul 9, 2021

People living in the Lionel-Bourdon seniors’ residence in the Rivière-des-Prairies district of Montreal say some of the strict COVID-19 restrictions need to be lifted as the vast majority of people living there have been fully vaccinated.

“We want respect for the oldest people because they treat us like we are four or three years old,” Estelle Laliberté, one of the seniors living there, told Global News.

Laliberté was referring to the local regional health authority, the CIUSSS l’Est-de-l’île-de-Montréal, for not allowing the easing of restrictions in the home.

Residents are calling for an end to mandatory mask-wearing and physical distancing as COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop in Quebec and vaccination levels rise.

Read more: Isolated seniors more vulnerable to elder mistreatment, Montreal senior advocates say

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Canada’s Public Health Agency states that fully vaccinated people can consider getting closer to each other without wearing masks depending on the setting.

And Quebec health guidelines recommend wearing masks in homes only for people who are not fully vaccinated.

A spokesperson for the regional health board refused to comment on the matter, telling Global News to contact the management team of the seniors’ home. A spokesperson there referred us back to the regional health board.

“When we get outside and we get together, why do we have to be only 10 people? Why can’t we be 20 people?” Angela Decrescenzo, another senior living in the home, told Global News.

Read more: West Island seniors step forward to fundraise for other seniors

Suzanne Bisson, the vice-president of the tenants’ association, was also critical of the current restrictions.

“We all breathe the same air in the residence. I mean, what’s the difference if we wear the mask of not,” Bisson told Global News.

The seniors plan to continue their battle, hoping to gain more freedoms the vaccines are supposed to grant.

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