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People move along Mount Royal Avenue which has been turned into a pedestrian mall during the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 23, 2020 in Montreal.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

A report into a private long-term care home in suburban Montreal where dozens of residents died during the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April accuses the owners of organizational negligence.

The Quebec government released the report into Résidence Herron today, as well as a separate report that looked into a public long-term care home north of Montreal where 100 residents died.

Commissioned by the provincial government, the investigation concludes that authorities at Herron repeatedly failed to address shortcomings highlighted in prior inspection reports and in a coroner’s report, largely because of high staff turnover and a lack of staff at the residence.

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The private facility was placed under government trusteeship after regional health authorities in late March found only three employees on site to care for 133 residents, some of whom were sitting in overflowing diapers and suffering from dehydration.

Report author Sylvain Gagnon reserved most of his criticism for the province’s health care system, which he says failed to address the problems with long-term care and with persistent staff shortages across the network.

He is recommending the province study whether private long-term care homes have the resources to adequately meet the needs of people who have serious health conditions or loss of autonomy.

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