When the COVID-19 pandemic began, CHSLA Rene-Levesque employees were told not to wear masks. And the masks just disappeared in the facility. This revelation was made this week during the Corona public inquiry into deaths at Quebec long-term care homes.
The inquiry will investigate CHSLD Longueuil and shed light on the deaths that occurred in the facility and other residences for seniors during the first wave of COVID-19. At the Rene-Levesque CHSLD, 118 residents got infected with the virus during the first wave and nearly half of them died from the disease.
On Wednesday, during the third day of the inquiry, an orderly who lived in the home said that employees began wearing masks in March 2020 to protect themselves and others but were told not to wear them.
The elderly woman who has asked not to be identified argued that if masks were allowed, the residence would have been safer.
The first case of infection was reported on April 4th, 2020. During the outbreak, the facility lacks adequate staff according to testimony. The few employees available were seen lying exhausted. Some of the elderly might have died because of lack of staff or dehydration.
A nurse working in the facility also said that the spread of the virus might have been contributed by cases where two residents stayed in the same room.