Inquest into COVID-19 deaths at Quebec long-term care home hears from final witnesses

A coroner’s inquest into a suburban Montreal long-term care home where 47 people died during the pandemic’s first wave is hearing from a handful of witnesses this week before it concludes.

The inquiry into the Residence Herron was expected to finish in late September after hearing from the families of some of those who died.

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Quebec coroner extends hearings into COVID-19 deaths at Residence Herron

But coroner Géhane Kamel elected to call additional witnesses this week because she said weeks of testimony had left her with too many unanswered questions.

The inquiry has heard that when health officials were called to help at the Dorval, Que., care home in late March 2020, they found patients in deplorable conditions.

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But other witnesses have said health authorities did not move quickly enough to bring resources and help to the understaffed private care home, which has since closed.

Among the witnesses heard Monday was a former complaints commissioner predating the pandemic and a nursing coordinator who worked at the home into March 2020, both referenced in previous testimony.

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coroner Géhane Kamel elected to call additional witnesses this week because she said weeks of testimony had left her with too many unanswered questions.

Three senior officials from the regional health authority are expected to take that stand, including CEO Lynne McVey, testifying for a second time on Tuesday.

The coroner’s mandate is to investigate 53 deaths at six long-term care homes and one seniors residence during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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