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Montreal's Positivity Rate For COVID-19 Tests Is Below 5% & Here's Why That's A Good Sign

According to provincial criteria, it could mean we're inching toward the orange zone.
Montreal's Positivity Rate For COVID-19 Tests Is Below 5% & Here's Why That's A Good Sign

In a press conference on November 25, the city's regional public health director, Dr. Mylène Drouin, said Montreal's COVID-19 situation remains stable across the island. In the city, she said, the positivity rate among Montreal COVID-19 tests is currently just below five percent.

"We have positive news. Our positivity rate is going down," Dr. Drouin said.

According to Quebec's COVID-19 alert system criteria, the current positivity rate could put Montreal at least partially on track to an orange zone designation — provided that COVID-19 cases in the city don't rise.

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5% Montreal's approximate COVID-19 positivity rate right now

According to a document entitled "Alert and gradual intervention system: a plan for the next stage of the pandemic," which has been made publicly available on the Ministry of Health and Social Services website, Montreal is on the lowest end of the spectrum for orange-zone criteria in terms of positivity rate.

The working document states that in order for a region to be designated an orange zone, the proportion of positive COVID-19 tests in the area should be between three and five percent.

The government's criteria states that positivity rates in red zones should be at five percent or more.

In order to attain other orange zone criteria, the city has to have an average incidence rate of six to 10 cases per 100,000 people, and the average daily incidence of new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 1,000,000 Montrealers has to reach between four and eight people — among other specific criteria.

Santé Montréal's COVID-19 data doesn't publish all numbers needed to illustrate where the city fits into each zone's criteria — for example, it's unclear where Montreal fits in terms of regional hospital beds.

However, if all goes well between now and January 11, when the province expects to reopen businesses in red zones, Montreal could be heading in the direction of an orange zone designation.