Groups mobilize to stop community spread of COVID-19 in Montreal

Rain or shine, Evelyn Durocher and her partner Javier go door to door in Ahuntsic-Cartierville as part of an awareness campaign for COVID-19. 

"We ask them if they wear the mask, keep their distance, washing their hands," Durocher said. "Everything that the government is asking -- the sanitary measures."

Their goal is to speak to 3,200 people in the borough, offering information about how and when to get tested for the disease, and what resources are available. 

"We also take the opportunity to see if they have any difficulties, and if they do, we do have a reference number to give them," Durocher said. 

Durocher works for community group Tandem, and the data she and Javier are collecting will go to the local CLSC to help create a pandemic response tailor-made for the community. 

"To effectively fight the pandemic that is spreading in our communities, you need community engagement," said Felix-Antoine Veronneau from Philanthropic Foundations Canada. 

Veronneau said the strategy has worked before, fighting Ebola in West Africa and Cholera in Haiti. 

"People become relays of public health, so they’re able to convince groups or peers of behaving differently," he said. 

Veronneau works for a group of Montreal foundations, supporting the work being done on the ground by people like Durocher and community organizers across six boroughs. 

Durocher says for the most part, people are receptive to their message. 

"I didn’t even see five people that shut the door to us, or didn’t want to answer, or were talking about complot, or whatever," she said. "Basically, the majority of people are doing what we should be doing."

She's committed to doing her part to make sure it stays that way. 

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