Take your parents out of the residences? Quebec says yes, with conditions
After hesitating and expressing reluctance on Thursday, the Legault government is now allowing families to pick up their elderly, but healthy, parents locked up in seniors’ residences.
J eudi, the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, had expressed “unease”, while François Legault had said that he was “sensitive” to the wishes of the families and that he understood them. On Friday, the government wanted to issue a clear directive.
While hundreds of institutions for the elderly in Quebec have at least one case of coronavirus, families wish to welcome their healthy parents into their homes rather than seeing them confined in a tiny apartment in a private residence or in a CHSLD for weeks .
Some are ready to go from the metropolitan region of Montreal or Quebec to pick them up in the Saguenay or Bas-Saint-Laurent regions, even though there are police checkpoints.
Friday, during the daily report on the fight against the pandemic in Quebec, the Minister of Health, Danielle McCann, said that the direction was now “clear”. Families will be able to pick their parents up, but at the door, without entering the establishment.
“We discussed it very quickly on Thursday (yesterday) and agreed that it was the best thing to do,” she said. We acted quickly because we are very sensitive to this situation. This is best for family members, under appropriate protection. ”
In regions surrounded by police checks, information suggests that people traveling to pick up their elderly parents can present a letter from the parents’ accommodation establishment justifying their departure on “humanitarian grounds”.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ), which has erected roadblocks to control traffic to the eastern and northern regions of Quebec, says it will examine the situation on a “case by case” basis.
This was stated by a spokesperson for the SQ, agent Valérie Beauchamp, on Friday at the end of the day. She said the police were understanding, but did not confirm the information on the requested documents.
Spokespersons for the Minister of Health did not respond to our requests for an interview.
On Thursday, Horacio Arruda expressed his “unease” regarding the release of elderly parents from their homes, by issuing warnings. He was particularly concerned that asymptomatic families would unknowingly transmit the virus to their parents. Or he feared the transfer from a low-risk region to a high-risk area, such as the Montreal region. However, he added that it had to be assessed on a “case by case” basis.