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Montreal at stable but ‘uncomfortable’ coronavirus plateau, public health says

Click to play video 'Montreal at stable but ‘uncomfortable’ coronavirus plateau, public health says' Montreal at stable but ‘uncomfortable’ coronavirus plateau, public health says
WATCH: Montreal at stable but ‘uncomfortable’ coronavirus plateau, public health says – Oct 30, 2020

Montreal has reached a stable but “uncomfortable” plateau as the second wave of the novel coronavirus continues, according to the city’s director of public health.

Dr. Mylène Drouin thanked the public for abiding by restrictions but said those efforts must be sustained to bring the number of COVID-19 cases down.

“At the end of the plateau, there are two options: it goes up or it goes down,” she said on Friday. “And of course we all want to see it go down.”

The city, which has been the epicentre of the virus’s outbreak in Canada, remains in a partial lockdown until at least Nov. 23. This includes the closure of gyms, bars, museums and the dining rooms of restaurants, as well as a ban on most gatherings in designated red zones.

Click to play video 'Montreal public health director gives update on COVID-19' Montreal public health director gives update on COVID-19
Montreal public health director gives update on COVID-19 – Oct 30, 2020

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Montreal is currently averaging 240 to 250 new cases of COVID-19 per day, according to Drouin. The hardest-hit areas include Parc-Extension, Côte-des-Neiges and Côte Saint-Luc.

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There are 236 active outbreaks but Drouin said the majority are small and under control.

“I think we have a decrease in the number of outbreaks in workplace settings but we’re still seeing an increase in schools,” she said.

There are 93 outbreaks in schools and public health was forced to close a school in the city’s north end, according to Drouin.

There are 62 outbreaks in workplaces and 25 in daycares as of Friday. Drouin said there are 14 outbreaks in the community and 23 in health-care settings.

Drouin is urging any Montrealer who has symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to go get tested.

Hospitalizations up, fewer ICU patients and cases on the rise in CHSLDs

Sonia Bélanger, head of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, said there are 156 patients in hospital due to the virus. Of those patients, 26 are in intensive care.

“It’s an increase of 17, but with fewer cases in intensive care this week,” she said.

Those Montrealers are in hospitals across the city, she added.

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While the region’s health-care system has about 1,000 beds in total to accommodate COVID-19 patients during the second wave, Bélanger still urged caution from the public.

There are currently 88 cases in Montreal’s long-term care homes compared to 41 last week.

“There aren’t any large outbreaks but we can still observe an upward trend of CHSLDs,” Bélanger said.

In private seniors’ residences, there are 47 infections, an increase of five from the previous week.

Click to play video 'Public health authorities concerned over uptick in COVID-19 cases in parts of Montreal' Public health authorities concerned over uptick in COVID-19 cases in parts of Montreal
Public health authorities concerned over uptick in COVID-19 cases in parts of Montreal – Oct 29, 2020

What about Christmas?

As the cold weather sets in, Drouin said it’s too soon to know if restrictions aimed curbing the spread of COVID-19 will still be in place for the holidays.

“I would say to the public not to prepare too many things ahead of time,” she said.

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Drouin said the progression of the pandemic in the coming weeks will determine what’s in store for December. She encouraged Montrealers to continue abiding by public health measures.

“We’re going to celebrate Christmas, of course, but it’s the how and under what circumstances,” she said.

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