Rise in cases of COVID-19: the CHU of Quebec in cut of care

Rise in COVID-19 cases: the CHU de Québec cuts care


The CHU de Québec announced on Friday morning that it was obliged to temporarily cut certain patient care and services, and to bring employees who were positive for COVID-19 back to work in relation to the situation. current health situation.

The increase in COVID-19 cases challenges the CHU de Québec, while there are three times more absent workers related to the virus, compared to last April. 

For the time being, 416 workers – including 88 in the last 24 hours – are absent due to the virus. 

“This is three times more than in June, when there were 130 workers absent due to the virus,” explains Danielle Goulet, Deputy President and CEO of the CHU de Québec.

In addition to absences due to illness, the lack of staff is also felt because of the summer vacation.

“It puts a lot of pressure on our activities and our ability to provide care,” she added. We are unable to provide access to care and services without making significant use of overtime and the OSI in most of our care units.”

The five emergency rooms of the CHU de Québec are also very busy, with five times as many patients presenting there, compared to April.

“The population requires care quite acutely this summer. The five emergency rooms are overflowing and that puts pressure on our staff,” continues Ms. Goulet.

In addition, around a hundred patients with COVID-19 are hospitalized at the University Hospital, including three in intensive care. 

Justified decision

Des Temporary measures were therefore announced by management, including the shedding of certain activities in the operating theaters and the return of contaminated workers, six days after the diagnosis. In addition, more than half of the 160 beds that had been closed for the summer have been reopened.

“It's a decision that is difficult, but it is totally justified and it has been thought out,” says Dr. Stéphane Bergeron, director of professional services and medical affairs at the CHU.

The latter reassures the population, specifying that precautions will be taken with workers positive for COVID-19 who will be able to return to work.

“We will try as much as possible to assign them to the care of covid patients who are already infected”, explains the Dr. Bergeron.

They will have separate break rooms from other employees, wear N95 masks, and will not use public transit to get to work. Vulnerable patients will not be treated by an infected worker.

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