Montreal public health director, Dr. Mylène Drouin, urged young people to stop gathering with friends and residents of other households in a press conference on September 29. Drouin said that COVID-19 cases in young Montrealers are most closely related to sports and social gatherings at home and in public spaces like parks.

"Currently, fifty percent of transmission [happens through] contact with someone who lives at home or with friends," she said.

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If you have symptoms, isolate yourself and start making a list of people you were in contact with two days before your symptoms occurred.

Dr. Mylène Drouin

 

Drouin said the city’s public health authority is having a hard time controlling the transmission of the virus due to the fact that young people continue to disrespect public health guidelines.

COVID-19 testing facilities in Montreal are "missing" tests for young people, Drouin said, because younger Montrealers aren’t participating in the testing process. 

"Our rate of positives is very high in the 18-34 [age group], but they are not proportionally participating a lot in testing," she said.

"That means that we do not capture all the cases and that we are missing cases where we can make an intervention."

Drouin urged young people to get tested if they have recently been in an at-risk context or have recently been in contact with someone who is sick.

The public health authority is launching a new social media campaign that will specifically target people aged 18-34.

The campaign, named "Don’t ignore this call," is set to urge young people to pick up the phone when contact tracers call, so the public health authority can get a better idea of COVID-19 cases in young Montrealers.

Drouin said the campaign is expected to roll out over the next four weeks.

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