The regional health authority for Montreal’s West Island says it is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross to organize training for volunteers at nursing homes ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health agency says the Red Cross will train 40 people each day to help residents of the area’s long-term care facilities as the virus rages through Quebec, which counts the most confirmed cases of any province at about 16,800.
The West Island suburbs are where a private long-term care home saw 31 residents reportedly die in less than a month, some of them while the centre was under provincial trusteeship.
The Red Cross announcement Saturday comes as Canadian Armed Forces members with medical expertise begin to fan out to nursing homes across Quebec after Premier François Legault took the unusual step of asking the federal government for military assistance.
The Department of National Defence says nursing officers, medical technicians and support personnel will help local doctors and nurses by providing medical care, logistics assistance and personal protective equipment.
Quebec has already sought federal military aid twice, and Canadian Rangers are helping with the COVID-19 effort in Quebec’s far north and in the Lower North Shore region.
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