Montreal public health records 30 COVID-19 cases linked to bars
MONTREAL -- There are now 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to Montreal bars, public health authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
A request was made on Saturday for anyone who visited or worked at a bar as of July 1 to get tested for COVID-19, following outbreaks at least five establishments in the area. Montreal’s public health department says it’s satisfied with the number of young people who sought tests following the call, and new numbers of confirmed cases are expected as early as Thursday.
Given the very recent introduction of customer registration, however, several people who frequented bars couldn’t be traced.
The Montreal region has seen an increase in the amount of COVID-19 cases among people aged 15 to 39 for the past few weeks, and cases among the general population have increased as well. The recent outbreaks in bars led the Quebec government to adjust rules for the establishments -- dancing and mingling are stricly off-limits.
On Tuesday, attendance at the Hôtel-Dieu COVID-19 screening clinic was so high some people waited in line for several hours and hundreds of tests were performed.
Public health officials say the network is currently working to increase screening capacity as soon as possible.
In addition to Hôtel-Dieu, there are four other screening clinics in Montreal: at the Jewish General Hospital, the Chauveau clinic in the east end, the CLSC in Montreal-North and the Maurice-Duplessis clinic in the north. There’s also a clinic in Beaconsfield.
During a press conference on Tuesday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said public health would adjust to meet the demand for COVID-19 testing so wait times at clinics won’t be as long.
As of Wednesday, 27,733 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Montreal as the number of deaths reached 3,427.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2020.