Montreal

Situation in Montreal keeps improving, but there are still outbreaks — including in parks

Dr. Mylène Drouin said outbreaks in workplaces and school settings are on the decline, but there has been a slight uptick in outbreaks in community settings — including nine linked to gatherings in parks.

Curfew is about to lift, but Drouin didn't want to put a date on allowing in-restaurant dining and gyms

Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal's public health director, gave an update Wednesday about the epidemiological situation in the city. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Montreal's public health director is encouraging the public to follow the guidelines for a little while longer, after it was announced the city would maintain tighter restrictions until at least early June.

Dr. Mylène Drouin said the situation has improved — the city recorded fewer than 100 cases on Wednesday — but she wants to see what happens in the coming days following the long weekend.

Drouin said outbreaks in workplaces and school settings are on the decline, but there has been a slight uptick in outbreaks in community settings — including nine linked to gatherings in parks.

"Even though we are outside and the risk is lower, we have to maintain distancing and, of course, do not share glasses, cigarettes or whatever, food, with friends or people that are not in your family," Drouin said.

Each of the nine park-related outbreaks involve fewer than 10 cases, she added.

In all, there are 216 active outbreaks in Montreal.

With the curfew set to lift and patios to open as of Friday, Drouin cautioned that even though the risk of transmission is lower outside, people should not share food or drinks.

She also encouraged those with mild, allergy-like symptoms to get tested. She said public health has documented COVID-19 cases among those who had one shot of the vaccine.

"We still have to be vigilant," she said, adding that adherence to the restrictions has paid off.

"We wouldn't be talking about opening sectors now if we had been in a third wave in April."

Many Montrealers have headed to the city's parks to enjoy the spring weather. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Non-committal on timeline

Earlier this week, Premier François Legault said he expects Montreal and other regions still in the red zone to see those tighter restrictions lifted by June 7.

That would mean reopening in-restaurant dining, as well as gyms.

Drouin didn't want to commit to a date but said the situation would be re-evaluated early next week.

"If it's not the 7th, it's going to be soon," she said.

While Montreal has so far avoided a third wave, the city is lagging slightly behind the rest of the province when it comes to vaccinations.

Drouin said the expected glut of vaccines in the coming weeks should correct that discrepancy. She said public health is planning to add more pop-up clinics, given that they have proven popular with younger Quebecers.

With files from The Canadian Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now