COVID-19 deaths: Quebec coroner outraged by delay in getting nurses to Residence Herron

A Quebec coroner says she is appalled by the amount of time it took to get nurses to a suburban Montreal long-term care home where 47 people died during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A first nurse arrived at Residence Herron on April 9, 2020 with a team of a dozen nurses she’d recruited herself, 10 days after regional health officials had seen the situation first-hand.

Read more: COVID-19: Nurse, retired manager unprepared for what she saw at Residence Herron, coroner hears

Before that date, managers at the regional health authority serving western Montreal had been helping out at the home, but only a few had formal nursing training.

That it took nearly 10 days for nurses to arrive angered coroner Géhane Kamel, who said it was known by that time that residents were slowly dying.

Asked why it took so long to deploy frontline staff to the Herron facility, nurse Marie-Eve Rompre said her bosses had told her they did not have the authority to formally manage the privately owned care home and fully take charge.

Kamel’s probe is examining 53 deaths at six long-term care homes and one seniors residence during the pandemic’s first wave.

Read more: No criminal charges to be laid against CHSLD Herron over COVID-19 deaths

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