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Montrealers 'May Be Seeing A Third Wave' Of COVID-19, Drouin Says

The city is currently managing 43 variant strain outbreaks.
Montrealers 'May Be Seeing A Third Wave' Of COVID-19, Drouin Says

We could see a third wave of COVID-19 in Montreal, said Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin at a press conference on March 3. She cited the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was identified in the U.K.

Drouin confirmed that public health officials are managing "many" outbreaks associated with COVID-19 virus variants in Montreal, notably in schools, where the city found 43 variant strain outbreaks.

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What did Drouin have to say about variant cases?

It's important to note that the city counts just one case of a COVID-19 virus variant in a workplace or school setting as an outbreak — so 26 of those schools only have one case.

Overall, Drouin said Montreal's COVID-19 situation remains stable, reaching a plateau of 2,700 new cases during the last week of February.

"Knowing that we may be seeing a third wave ahead of us, it is important to protect the most vulnerable population as soon as possible," she said.

"We're working really hard to suppress the introduction of the variant [in Montreal]."

During the last week of February, variant strain cases represented 12% of new COVID-19 cases in Montreal.

Where are most variant cases in Montreal?

Since the beginning of March, however, Drouin said variant strain cases have risen to 15% of Montreal's new cases.

The public health director also said most variant strain cases have been found in four specific parts of the Montreal area: Côte Saint-Luc, Côte-des-Neiges, Snowdon and Outremont.

"New cases are mostly associated with school-aged children and the [age group] of their parents," she said.

"We are seeing a pattern of transmission that is outbreaks in schools and high transmission in households."

The city's public health officials are currently managing 324 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Montreal.