In a reversal of the situation, the second wave of the coronavirus has so far practically spared the CHSLDs and retirement homes on the island of Montreal, while it is raging in the rest of Quebec.
Last spring, during the first wave of COVID-19, the city’s long-term care centers (CHSLDs) were hit by an unprecedented number of deaths. Nearly 2,500 seniors died there, a situation described as a hecatomb by many.
About 60% of deaths in Quebec occurred in CHSLDs and retirement homes on the island of Montreal.
According to a compilation made yesterday by our Bureau of Investigation using data from the Quebec Ministry of Health, there are barely 10 cases of COVID infections in Montreal CHSLDs and 10 other cases in seniors’ residences.
Across Quebec, the total number of cases of infections in CHSLDs and residences currently stands at 386 cases. This means that 95% of cases are found in the rest of Quebec.
The greatest number of infections is recorded in Montérégie, with 102 cases.
As it is early in the second wave, the numbers of deaths in these settings are not significant at this time.
Even the experts consulted by our Bureau of Investigation are surprised by the situation in Montreal. Gaston De Serres, epidemiologist at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ), had to check our figures to make sure that this is really the reality.
“But it’s gratifying,” he insisted on saying.
It is difficult at the moment to explain the turnaround. But the Dr De Serres rejects the idea of collective immunity which would have been established due to the very large number of cases in the spring.
“It would be surprising, because a large number of CHSLDs in Montreal were still not affected at that time,” he explains.
According to him, the most plausible reason for the decline is that the lessons of spring in infection control have really been learned in Montreal.
Nimâ Machouf, epidemiologist and lecturer at the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal, shares the points of view of his colleague.
On the other hand, note the two scientists, it is too early at the start of the second wave to draw definitive conclusions regarding the situation in the metropolis.
Infections in retirement homes
Montérégie —————————————— 102
Chaudière-Appalaches ————————— 80
Laval ————————————————- – 40
Quebec ———————————————— 38
Laurentians ——————————————- 33
Gaspé ———————————————- 30
Montreal ———————————————– 20
Outaouais ——————————————— 15
Estrie ————————————————- – 10
Mauricie ———————————————– 4
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean ———————— 2