Montreal's curve flattens as it counts 40 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths
Healthcare workers wait for clients at a mobile COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL -- Montreal is seeing a "considerable and significant lowering" of the epidemic curve of COVID-19, the city's top public health official said on Tuesday.
The city reported 40 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 11 more deaths, bringing the total cases to 26,757 and deaths to 3,216. There were only 29 new cases on Monday.
"We really are at the lowest numbers that we've had since March. It really is a situation that is improving," said Montreal public health director Dr. Mylene Drouin.
The city is now below the threshold of 100 new cases per day and has also seen a decrease of hospitalizations and ICU cases, as well as a decrease in deaths.
Drouin called the decrease "very encouraging," adding that there continues to be community transmission in some areas, including Montreal North, Anjou, Hochelaga, and Villeray-Parc-Extension.
She said there are 35 outbreaks relating to workplaces, but no outbreaks in day cares since June 1, and only one active case in a specialized school.
Outbreaks in long-term care facilities continue to drop, now affecting 76 facilities across the island. One week ago, 120 facilities on the island of Montreal were dealing with outbreaks.
Drouin thanked Montrealers – the public, daycares and workplaces alike – for diligently applying the distancing and hygiene guidelines. Though that's helped the city relax its confinement measures, she also sked that people continue to apply the guidelines to help those who are most at risk.
MOBILE SCREENING TO END
The STM buses that were converting into mobile testing units during the height of the outbreaks will be pulled back as of June 19. Those units, which moved around to various so-called 'hotspots' throughout the city, conducted more than 21,000 tests.
Dedicated screening centres will continue to provide COVID-19 testing for those who need it and services will be maintained in neighbourhoods where there is a higher rate of cases, said Drouin.
"It is still important to get tested if you have symptoms or you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19," said Drouin, saying it's the best way to prevent community transmission.
Testing can be scaled up again very quickly in the event of an outbreak or second wave of the virus.
"Our testing capacity is there," she said. "And it's going to help us if we have a second wave."
What has become clear that that there are inequalities when it comes to the pandemic, said Drouin.
People living in low-income neighbourhoods are 2.5 times more likely to become infected with the virus, and five of the six neighbourhoods with the highest rate of cases are considered low-income.
People living in small apartments have more difficulty maintaining social distancing and many of those people are essential workers, making them more vulnerable.
"We're working on strategies to reduce this gap," said Drouin, citing more testing, community intervention and more access to physically distance public spaces as examples.
Six boroughs are reporting more than 2,000 cases:
- Montreal North: 2,505 (2,973.9 cases per 100,000)
- Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve: 2,238 (1,645.3 cases per 100,000)
- Ahunstic-Cartierville: 2,227 (1,696.2 cases per 100,000)
- Cote-des-Neiges-NDG: 2,161 (1,297.7 cases per 100,000)
- Riviere-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles: 2,124 (1989.8 cases per 100,000)
- Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension: 2,088 (1451.5 cases per 100,000)
Seven on-island suburbs continue to have fewer than 100 cases:
- Baie-D'Urfé: 30 cases
- Beaconsfield: 59 cases
- Hampstead: 53 cases
- Montreal East: 44 cases
- Montreal West: 20 cases
- Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue: 18 cases
- Senneville: less than 5 cases