Here's What You Need To Know About Montreal's Current COVID-19 Situation

"The battle is not over in Montreal," Mayor Plante said on May 4.
Contributing Writer
Here's What You Need To Know About Montreal's Current COVID-19 Situation

It can often be confusing to find out the latest info on COVID-19 in the city. ⁠Mayor Valérie Plante held on a public briefing for the city on Monday, May 4, where she provided various updates about what Montrealers should know right now. So, in light of this, and recent news, we've rounded up some key info about the current COVID-19 situation in Montreal.

The biggest takeaways to remember were: the epidemic curve has not yet been flattened in Montreal, and officials stress the need for everyone to continue practicing social distancing.

Another important piece of information to remember is that in the city, it continues to be only people with coronavirus symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, fever, or a dry cough, who can get screened. First responders and public safety workers, as well as other symptomatic essential workers, will get priority for being tested too.

The Director of Public Health has also approved that people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases can be screened.

This article looks at the current numbers for the COVID-19 situation in Montreal, new testing clinics, the gradual reopening of businesses and schools in the Greater Montreal area, and other updates that the City has recently announced.

Current COVID-19 Case Count

Santé Montréal | Official Website

As of May 5, Montreal has 16,991 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Currently, there are four boroughs with over 1,000 cases: Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the region of Montreal has seen 1,488 deaths related to the virus.

The continuous increase in cases, plus Regional Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin's statement about the matter, confirms that Montreal's epidemic curve has not started to decrease yet — as it has in the rest of the province.

"Though the battle is not over in Montreal, I want to say we are continuing the fight," Mayor Plante stressed on Monday, May 4.

New Mobile Clinics 

Some STM buses will be used as mobile clinics in the upcoming weeks.

Such clinics will target coronavirus "hotspots" in Montreal.

They will be an addition to other testing clinics within the city's boroughs that already exist.

The STM bus mobile clinics will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the necessary areas.

Gradual Reopening Of Businesses | Instagram

A continued high number of hospitalizations caused the Premier to delay the reopening of retail establishments to May 18, which was originally planned to occur on May 11.

Manufacturing and non-residential construction in the Greater Montreal area remain projected to start up again on May 11, though.

As for Montreal restaurants and hotels, it doesn't seem like they will be reopening in the near future, which will also be the case for those in the rest of the province as well.

"When it's time to reopen, we will try to help them financially, but it's true that for the moment, in the short term, we do not plan to reopen" restaurants and hotels, Legault mentioned during a public briefing on May 4.

Reopening of Elementary Schools & Daycare | Instagram

As it stands right now, daycares and elementary schools within the Greater Montreal area are planned to reopen again as of May 19.

This date is a week later than what is planned for the rest of the province, outside of the Montreal metropolitan area.

It won't be mandatory for parents to send their children back to school until September — it'll be optional until then.

As for high schools, cégeps, and universities, they will remain closed until next semester, which typically begins in August or September.

You can read about the hygiene measures that teachers and students will have to follow upon the reopening of Montreal schools here.

Situation In Montreal's Parks

During the press conference on May 4, Mayor Valérie Plante commented on the high volume of people in Montreal's parks during the past weekend.

While Plante said she understands people's need for a little greenery, she reminded everyone that all gatherings (unless essential) remain prohibited — including in parks.

So, although it's okay to spend time in one of the city's parks, you must remain two-metres away from others at all times. Police are patrolling these spaces every day to ensure that such rules are followed.

On Sunday, May 3, the City of Montreal announced that five major parks will be closing access to their parking lots.

The parking lots being affected are those of La Fontaine, Maisonneuve, Jarry, Fréderic-Back, and Île-de-la-Visitation nature park.

In April, the City also closed access to île Notre Dame, the Atwater footbridge, and the parking lots for Mount Royal.

Social Distancing Rules

Both Premier Legault and Mayor Plante have previously stressed that even as certain parts of the city's economic sectors begin to reopen, social distancing measures will continue to need to be followed.

This includes the need for individuals to remain two-metres away from anyone who they do not reside with.

As for gatherings, the Mayor of Montreal reminded everyone that "we still can't gather — in your yard, in the park, in the grocery store."

On May 5, Dr. Horacio Arruda confirmed that such is true: all gatherings remain prohibited for the time being.

And police officers will continue to give out fines between $1000 to $6000 to anyone who is caught disobeying these rules.

So, Montrealers are still asked to follow all health guidelines released by the provincial government.

Wearing Of Protective Face Masks

val_plante | Instagram

Recently, Mayor Plante requested that all Montrealers start wearing a face-covering in situations where the two-metre distance between people is not possible, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and public transportation.

Dr. Drouin stressed this same idea in the City of Montreal's most recent public briefing on May 4.

The two city officials have even started wearing masks in public themselves.

New "Family-Friendly Active" Streets

Montreal's Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is attempting to give pedestrians more space by closing off certain streets to reserve for walking, biking, and playing.

Currently, the borough has implemented three spaces that allow this.

The three new "family-friendly active" streets can be found on rue Chapleau Street next to Baldwin Park, rue Mentana bordering Laurier Park, and rue Chabot near the edge of Parc De Lorimier.

The City anticipates more streets like such to be popping up in different Montreal boroughs in the upcoming weeks — so keep your eyes open for them!

Stay tuned for more Montreal news.

Alanna Moore
Contributing Writer
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