Red Cross services in response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 in Quebec


In the context of COVID-19, the Canadian Red Cross is adapting its practices to continue responding to emergencies and to support the various levels of government as part of their response to the pandemic.

In Quebec, the Red Cross has been mobilized to support the efforts of the Quebec government and the City of Montreal, among others, to mitigate the negative impact of this pandemic while complying with public health guidelines to ensure the safety of its volunteers, of its staff and of the people receiving assistance.

Here’s an overview of how the Red Cross is supporting people during this challenging time:

Supporting seniors’ residences

To support the Quebec government and pursue its mission of mobilizing the power of humanity to help the most vulnerable, the Red Cross is deploying a humanitarian workforce in seniors’ residences identified by the health network.
  • Trained teams are working with local authorities and public health officials, as well as management and personnel at the residences. Red Cross teams are helping meet urgent needs, while the authorities and residences continue to stabilize and grow their permanent workforce. Those who wish to join the humanitarian workforce are invited to visit to get more information or to apply.

Adapting our emergency relief services

  • Opening a virtual emergency operations centre to ensure the continuity of emergency responses, with a focus on house fires.
  • Implementing an operational committee to adapt our practices so that we are ready to support cities and municipalities virtually in case of flooding.
  • Providing disaster relief services virtually, enabling us to protect both volunteers and beneficiaries.

Emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Montreal

  • Red Cross employees are working in shifts around the clock to register beneficiaries, organize food distribution and offer other necessary services. Red Cross Safety and Wellbeing teams are on site to advocate for beneficiaries and organize activities to promote their wellbeing.
  • The Red Cross is working alongside teams from the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, which is deploying nurses, the Old Brewery Mission, and St. John Ambulance for first aid. Red Cross epidemic prevention and control specialists are also on hand to provide epidemic prevention and control guidance to the teams deployed on site. 
  • Follow the Red Cross on social media for updates on this response documented by our Audiovisual Unit, such as this video that describes the services that are being offered at the shelter (French only).

Other mandates

  • Training: Red Cross personnel are providing training on using personal protective equipment and preventing disease transmission to staff working in living facilities (for example, LTC homes) and people designated by the provincial government.
  • Epidemic prevention and control: Red Cross epidemic prevention and control specialists are visiting long-term care homes and other living facilities to conduct assessments and offer epidemic prevention and control advice.
  • Support for testing clinics: Upon request, the Red Cross is deploying resources to support operations at various testing sites. The role of the Red Cross personnel varies based on the site and needs.

Completed mandates

The Red Cross also responded to a request from the City of Montreal and Ville-Marie borough in downtown Montreal to distribute food to homeless individuals, as well as coordinate temporary shelters to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Distribution of food to people experiencing homelessness

At the request of the City of Montreal, the Red Cross distributed food to homeless individuals at various outdoor locations.

Distribution of financial assistance

The Red Cross assisted the Quebec government in distributing $13.4 million to more than 12,000 people through the Temporary Aid for Workers Program.

For questions about the program, please contact the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity at 1-866-644-2251.

Mobile hospital to support the Montreal West Island IUHSSC

The Canadian Red Cross provided equipment from its mobile hospital to assist Dorval, Lachine and LaSalle residents served by the Montreal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (IUHSSC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Red Cross’ mobile hospital equipment was used to assist the LaSalle Hospital. All clinical health services were delivered by IUHSSC personnel.

How you can help

The Canadian Red Cross is prepared and ready to support Canadians now during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the spring and summer as we anticipate floods, wildfires and other disasters that will affect families and communities.

The best way you can support our work is with a donation now to the Canadian Emergencies & COVID-19 Response Fund.

Additional resources

First Aid and CPR courses in your area

Interested in taking a Red Cross First Aid or CPR course? Find a course in your community or online.

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