COVID-19 testing ramps up in Montreal following more deaths

With 113 of Quebec’s 118 reported COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday being in Montreal, testing is being ramped up across the city.

In health centres, tents and buses around Montreal, people are being administered swabs wherever they are. The government says they’ve upped their daily testing capacity by 4,000 – from 6,000 to 10,000. 

Mobile testing sites are moving between neighbourhoods hardest hit, as the virus disproportionately affects lower-income, dense areas with many apartment blocks, making it difficult to isolate effectively. 

Despite testing being done faster than before, people being tested for the virus worry about asymptomatic vectors and think testing should be mandatory for everyone. 

The government says they’re loosening up the rules as to who can get a COVID-19 test moving forward – anyone with even the mildest of symptoms is being encouraged to do so if they live in a hotspot. 

“Specific regions there’s going to be – if you think you’re in contact with a case but you’re asymptomatic, they’re going to be screened actually,” said Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda. “That’s the new orientation in those hotspots.” 

Many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the hardest-hit neighbourhoods, like Montreal North, are health-care workers. 

“We have a higher proportion of health-care workers that were infected in those neighbourhoods and we think it may be one explanation why the virus has reintroduced in the community and is now being transmitted in the community,” said Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin. 

On Wednedsay, the city will launch a website with up-to-date COVID-19 information, organized by neighbourhood, with resources for the public to consult. 

  Cases in Montreal by age and region
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