- Legault made a plea to anyone available full time to sign up to help in CHSLDs as the number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec exceeds 22,000 total (including those who have recovered).
- He stressed that volunteers would be paid and that they don't need credentials.
During April 24's press update, Premier François Legault and the province's top public health officials announced another increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec. There have now been 22,616 infections, an increase of 778 in 24 hours. Another 97 deaths were recorded overnight for a total of 1,340.
The number of patients in intensive care has also increased by 20.
As the situation in CHSLDs and seniors residences evolves, the Premier promised that the government will do more to improve the conditions and accelerate the process of renovating and expanding care facilities.
The lack of staff in these facilities is still a huge challenge and the government is now asking everyone to volunteer, even if they don't have relevant qualifications.
"Today, I want to ask people who have not registered on [the online registry] to sign up to help us in public CHSLDs. This is important. Even if you don't have any qualifications, if you are available full-time, well, I'm asking you, we need you to come and take care of our most vulnerable people."
"All people, even those who are not qualified, will earn the salary we give, which is the lowest salary in CHSLDs for what we call service assistants. So, I asked for the amount including bonuses. It amounts to $21.28 an hour, $777 a week."
On Thursday, Legault said that anyone who decides to lend a helping hand will have access to all the necessary protective equipment and guaranteed their safety.
"We need you. The network cannot operate with 9,500 people absent," he said on April 23.
On Wednesday, the Quebec government made a request for 1,000 soldiers from the Canadian army to assist with the situation in the province's CHSLDs.
Still, roughly 9,500 workers are missing from the health care system. The province needs as many people as possible to help in the senior's care facilities.
#COVID19 - Au Québec, en date du 24 avril 2020 à 13 h, la situation est la suivante : 22 616 cas confirmés 163 016… https://t.co/Z7LL30TKPW— Santé Québec (@Santé Québec) 1587748726.0
Legault reiterated the concept that Quebec has been split into "two worlds" as the pandemic progresses.
On the one hand is Quebec's difficult situation in CHSLDs, with many deaths coming from these facilities. On the other, a relatively "stable" situation outside of these facilities.
While trying to control the situation in the CHSLDs, the government is planning for a gradual deconfinement and reopening of certain businesses.
Legault suggested Thursday that officials are considering attempting to develop "natural immunity" among the population.
Public health officials have admitted, however, that it could take years before the province economically recovers.
Ce qu’on vit dans nos CHSLD reste notre urgence nationale, mais on doit aussi préparer tout le Québec à une réouver… https://t.co/kB60gGvGDu— François Legault (@François Legault) 1587747072.0
"I know we're going through a tough situation right now, but we must prepare ourselves for the coming weeks and months," said Legault.
"The war against the virus is only beginning. We will get through this together."
Stay tuned for more news.