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Montreal marks more than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 as cases approach 20,000
There are now 19,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the island of Montreal as the region marked a grim milestone of more than 2,000 deaths.
In a Tuesday afternoon news conference, Montreal public health director Mylene Drouin revealed the new numbers, saying that about 20 per cent of those cases (3,743) are health care workers and 85 per cent of the deaths are in the city's long-term care facilities.
In all, 2,003 people have died from the virus.
Hospitalizations have reached a plateau and intensive care cases have dropped slightly, which is good news, said Drouin.
The public health director said COVID-19 screening has increased in recent days after the launch of a regional strategy last week. The goal is to reach 3,000 tests per day.
Testing has almost doubled since the end of April, she said. There are 1,900 tests daily in community screening centres, and three mobile units have carried out 500 tests in recent days. There will be five mobile units -- converted city buses -- running by the end of the week.
"Our labs can give us results in less than 24 hours, so this is going in the right direction," said Drouin.
Residents displaying COVID-19 symptoms or who have been in close contact with an infected person are encouraged to call 514-644-4545 or visit one of the neighbourhood or mobile testing sites.
NEW EXERCISE PROGRAM FOR SENIORS
Montreal’s public health officials also want seniors to keep moving, even while in isolation.
Drouin also announced a new program called Le GO pour bouger!, encouraging seniors to follow 15-minute exercise programs aimed at all levels of fitness.
The goal is to ensure seniors stay healthy, both mentally and physically, while living in isolation.
People over age 70 face 11 times more risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 than average; for those over age 80, it’s 22 times higher than average.
Some 90 per cent of the city’s seniors do not live in long-term care homes and must continue to stay inside their homes, said Drouin.
Drouin said public health officials are very concerned about the city’s long-term care homes, where 85 per cent of the city’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred, but that all seniors need to remain vigilant.
“I think it’s important that we also care about the 90 per cent that are currently at home,” she said. “We are really asking people to do (the exercises), because at the end of confinement, it can make a difference in your autonomy, your risk of falls and on your mental health, of course.”