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New study to track coronavirus infection rates among Montreal-area children

Click to play video 'New Montreal study to track COVID-19 infection rates among children' New Montreal study to track COVID-19 infection rates among children
WATCH: A new study wants to find out how children have been impacted by COVID-19. The researchers, in conjunction with McGill University and L'Universite de Montréal will be looking for volunteer participants from four different parts of the city, to examine infection rates of the virus and its psychological impact. Global's Dan Spector explains – Oct 20, 2020

A new project is underway to find out exactly how many children and teens in Montreal have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study will focus on kids ages two to 17 who have been in daycares, elementary schools, and high schools that have been randomly selected in four Montreal neighbourhoods: Beaconsfield; the Plateau Mont-Royal; Montreal North; and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Researchers with the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force say their study will better equip schools and health care professionals to implement prevention strategies.

Read more: Quebec raises coronavirus alert level for parts of Lanaudière as province sees 1,038 new cases

“We know children are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can transmit the infection, but much uncertainty remains. This study will give us a good idea of how many children on the island have previously had COVID-19, which can help inform public health measures,” explains project lead Kate Zinszer, assistant professor at l’École de santé publique at  the Université de Montréal and researcher at the Public Health Research Institute.

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“The findings of this study will help us make decisions on interventions such as school closures and physical distancing as efforts focus on the balance between the direct health impacts of COVID-19 and the unintended consequences of confinement measures,” says Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal regional director of public health.

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Children and teenagers participating in the project will be regularly monitored and tested.

To know if your daycare or school is taking part in the study, you can visit the EnCORE website, encorestudy.ca.