Montreal on track to stay in yellow zone for a week, but a wave is here: public health chief
MONTREAL -- Montreal is on track to stay in the “yellow” COVID-19 alert zone for the next week at least, says the city’s public health chief.
In an interview with CTV News on Friday, Dr. Mylène Drouin said it’s clear the numbers are rising, but in context, Montreal is seeing less of a steep climb than some places, including Quebec City.
“We don't have a rise that is really drastic,” she said, compared to the provincial capital.
“It doesn't put us on the path to the orange level,” at least in the next week, she said, if the numbers continue on roughly the same path.
Don’t get her wrong, though: we’re at the start of a new wave, said Drouin.
But even public health experts like Drouin, who has been Montreal’s director of public health since April 2018 and holds medical and public-health degrees, can’t predict what this fall will look like.
“I don't know if it's a big wave, but for sure we're at the beginning of something,” she said.
“I don't know if it's going to go really high or if it's going to be the same type of wave that we had last July with the bars,” she said, referencing the bump in numbers in early July that then died back down.
“We’re going to see if this fall is going to be a lot of small waves, or one huge wave.”
This fall is already markedly different from the spring. There is “a lot of transmission in the community,” she said.
For example, despite all the positive COVID-19 cases detected in schools, almost all of those were “sporadic cases” caught in the community rather than at the schools or other institutions, Drouin said.
There are no outbreaks in Montreal right now associated with bars, she said, but the planned police crackdown this weekend will still help reinforce the rules.
“What we've seen in different regions of Quebec is that most of the outbreaks were associated with bars or private gatherings,” she said.
Deciding to go into private homes is a tougher question and she said she hopes there won’t be many cases that force authorities to need to make a call on it.
It was announced the same day that the president of Canada’s national public health agency was stepping down, saying she needed “a break” and that she wanted to see someone take over who had the energy to carry the country through the next stage.
Drouin said she’s still going strong.
“I think I still have the energy,” she said.
“But the important thing is to have a great team and to be able to delegate and to have people around us that help us to manage the situaton.”
Watch the video above to see Dr. Drouin's full interview.