• Carmen Marie Fabio

VSPCR reopening date not yet decided


PHOTO COURTESY VSPCR

The COVID-19 pandemic not only resulted in the temporary closure of the clinical unit of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, it is expected to hamper the residence’s important fundraising activities.

Following the announcement made May 5 that the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence (VSPCR) in Hudson had to close their doors to new patients due to the presence of the COVID-19 virus, administration is still not sure when the facility will resume normal operations.

“We had to close our clinical activities,” said Executive Director Christine Boyle, “meaning that we had to transfer out our patients and that our nursing staff are all at home self-isolating.”

The residence can normally accommodate up to 12 patients at full capacity and those who had to leave the facility were transferred either to other palliative care residences or to hospitals.

As soon as the virus was announced as a global health threat in mid-March, the VSPCR stopped the volunteers from coming in, both for the security of the patients and the volunteers themselves, many who are over the age of 60.

Boyle said it hasn’t been established how the virus entered the facility but an undisclosed number of staff and patients had tested positive.

Despite the 14-day quarantine period almost being reached, Boyle said it’s premature to predict when the residence will reopen and resume normal activities.

“It’s something we’re working towards because of course there’s a need but we’re only going to reopen when it’s safe and secure for everyone.”

Another significant impact the virus and physical distancing has had on the day-to-day operations of the VSPCR is in its fundraising efforts. While 40 per cent of its annual budget comes from government, the balance is obtained through fundraising efforts. Roughly $1.4 million comes from donations and is needed to ensure the residence’s mandate.

“We’re not able to have our annual golf tournament,” said Boyle, “or other events that sustain us. That’s a real challenge for us and for other palliative care residences across the province. We’re all facing this.”

For more information on the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, consult www.mspvs.org/en.

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