Spread of COVID-19 on the rise in 3 Montreal neighbourhoods, public health says

The COVID-19 positivity rate is on the rise in LaSalle, Lachine and Rivière-des-Prairies. Public health officials aren’t sure why.

LaSalle, Lachine, Rivière-des-Prairies have seen an increase in positivity rate

Community transmission and outbreaks are on the rise in some areas of the city, and officials are doing outreach to make sure people get screened. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

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.

WATCH | Dr. Mylène Drouin breaks down where COVID-19 outbreaks are happening on the island

Montreal outbreaks: A breakdown by source

CBC News Montreal

4 months ago
Dr. Mylène Drouin details where the majority of COVID-19 outbreaks are occuring in Montreal public health's territory. 1:00

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.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


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.