On Sunday, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that the Quebec government will invest an additional $100 million annually to improve home-care services for the elderly and others who rely on these caretakers. The province’s population is aging rapidly and this, coupled with increased demand for home care since the beginning of the pandemic and the movement of many in-home caregivers to jobs in long-term care facilities means there is a shortage of home-care workers. Of the sum announced by Dubé, $65 million will fund services offered by regional health authorities, with the remainder being allocated for salary increases and new equipment for home-care workers. Some 370,000 people currently receive home care in Quebec.
New cases of COVID-19 across the Montérégie have seen a slight increase over the past week, with the region still reporting just over a thousand new cases weekly since the start of November. From Nov. 9 to 15, a total of 1012 new cases were diagnosed in the Montérégie, with 31 hospitalizations and 23 deaths.
The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent currently has 13 active cases, with 7 of these cases having been diagnosed between Nov. 9 and 15. In that same period, the MRC de Jardins-de-Napierville reported 30 new cases, the MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry reported 16, and the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges reported 74 new cases.
Small increases have been seen in some municipalities in the Chateauguay Valley in the past seven days. Huntingdon has now had a total of 49 cases since the start of the pandemic, Hemmingford 15, Godmanchester 15, Ormstown 26, Saint-Barbe 19, Saint-Anicet 12, Havelock 5, Saint-Chrysostome 28, and Hinchinbrooke has had a total of 9. The other municipalities in the area have remained stable in terms of total numbers of cases.
There will be three COVID-19 mobile testing units in the area this week. The first is on Nov. 17 at the Salle Communautaire at 400 rang Saint-Antoine in Saint-Chrysostome. The second is on Nov. 19 at the Centre communautaire Roger-Tougas at 730 boulevard Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Mercier. The final local testing clinic this week will be held on Nov. 20 at the Centre municipal Gilles-Demers at 221 rue Centrale in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka. All three clinics will be open from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Anyone experiencing symptoms, those who have been exposed to the virus, or those who have come into contact with someone who has been exposed and has been advised by public health to get tested are encouraged to do so.