Spread of COVID-19 on the rise in 3 Montreal neighbourhoods, public health says
LaSalle, Lachine, Rivière-des-Prairies have seen an increase in positivity rate
The COVID-19 positivity rate is on the rise in LaSalle, Lachine and Rivière-des-Prairies, and public health officials aren't sure why.
"We have small outbreaks in schools, daycares, some small outbreaks in workplaces or elders' residences, but nothing that is major and can explain community transmission that has increased that much in only a week," said Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal's director of public health.
She said they have looked at transmission in cultural communities and there are no clues there, either.
In neighbourhoods in those boroughs where there is a higher density of cases, public health has asked community organizations to work with the local health authorities to do outreach and make sure people get screened.
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Drouin said they are also trying to figure out whether the spread can be at least partially explained by superspreader events.
The city is focusing on superspreader events, which are defined as events that feature crowded places, close contacts where people are singing, yelling or breathing heavily and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
She explained that research shows about 10 to 20 per cent of cases are responsible for more than 80 per cent of the transmission of the virus.
People at testing centres will be asked questions to determine whether they have attended an event that fits that description, Drouin said. If so, their case will become a priority.
The new approach is inspired by practices that are already being implemented in Japan, Drouin said.