Get out of your parents homes? Quebec says yes, with conditions

Sortir vos parents des résidences? Québec dit oui, avec des conditions

Families can go pick their parents, but at the door, without entering the facility.

April 3, 2020 19h05

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Get out of your parents homes? Quebec says yes, with conditions

Patrice Bergeron

The Canadian Press

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After having hesitated, and expressed reluctance Thursday, the government Legault now allows families to pick up their elderly parents, but in health, cooped up in residences for seniors.

On Thursday, the national director of public Health, Horacio Arruda, had expressed “discomfort”, while François Legault had said that it was “sensitive” to the wishes of the families and that he understood. On Friday, the government has expressed a clear directive.

While hundreds of institutions for seniors in Quebec have at least one case of coronavirus, families wish to stay with their parents in health rather than see them confined in a tiny apartment in a private residence or a CHSLD for weeks.

Some are loans from the metropolitan region of Montreal or Quebec to go pick up the Saguenay, or in Bas-Saint-Laurent, while there are still police checkpoints.

Friday, at the balance sheet daily on the fight against the pandemic in Quebec, the minister of Health, Danielle McCann, said that the orientation was now “clear”. Families can go pick their parents, but at the door, without entering the facility.

“We discussed very quickly on Thursday (yesterday) and we agreed that it was the best thing to do,” she said. We acted quickly because we are very sensitive to this situation. This is what is best for the members of the family, in conditions of adequate protection.”

Police roadblocks

In the regions buckled by police checks, the information suggest that people who move to fetch their old parents may submit a letter to the accommodation of parents who justify their release for “humanitarian reasons”.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ), which has erected roadblocks to control the movement towards the regions of the East and North of Quebec, said that it will review the situation on a “case by case”.

This is what was stated by a spokesperson for the SQ, the officer Valérie Beauchamp, Friday, at the end of the day. She indicated that the police officers were very understanding, but has not confirmed the information on the requested documents.

The spokesperson of the minister of Health did not respond to our interview requests.

On Thursday, Horacio Arruda had expressed his “unease” regarding the release of the elderly parents of their residences, by issuing warnings. He feared in particular that of the families that are asymptomatic do not transmit the virus to their parents without knowing it. Or, it feared the transfer of a region at low risk to a high-risk area, such as the region of Montreal. However, he added that it was necessary to evaluate on a “case by case”.

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