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Coronavirus: Montreal to transform city buses into mobile testing clinics

Coronavirus: New mobile testing clinic up and running on the streets of Montreal
The mobile screening clinic's first stop will be in Verdun.

Montreal’s public transit buses will be transformed into mobile testing clinics as the city works to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city announced on Monday that the moving clinics will be located in areas hit hard by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. This includes Montreal North, Saint-Michel and Rivière-des-Prairies and Verdun which have the highest number of cases in the city.

The new screening clinics will be prepared to test up to 100 symptomatic people per day, according to the city.

The city said the schedule of the city buses turned mobile clinics will be available on its website in the coming days. Montreal’s public health director Mylène Drouin stressed that testing is reserved for people who have symptoms of the respiratory illness.

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READ MORE: Quebec delays reopening retail stores in Montreal amid coronavirus pandemic

The mobile clinics comes as the city boosts screening measures in the its most affected boroughs.

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Drouin said Montreal’s curb is not flattening, as cases continue to skyrocket. As of Monday, Montreal accounts for over 16, 600 of the more than 32,620 COVID-19 cases in Quebec.

The city’s public transit agency, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), said the buses used as mobile clinics will be disinfected daily.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante encouraged the public to wear face masks and to abide by two-metre physical distancing on public transit and in public parks. She also reminded the public that no gatherings of any kind should be taking place.

Plante commended the provincial government’s decision to delay the reopening of certain businesses in Montreal by a week.

The mayor also added that police will continue patrolling the city to make sure all social distancing measures are being respected.