- Mayor Plante announced more Montreal closures in response to the spread of COVID-19.
- The STM will remain open, however.
The City of Montreal will close all pools, libraries, arenas, community centres, the Botanical Gardens, and so much more in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus. "As a result of the Quebec Government's ban on public gatherings over 250 people, the City of Montreal has made important decisions on public events and the operation of its facilities," said Mayor Valérie Plante at a press conference Thursday evening. These Montreal closures join a growing list of events that have been cancelled.
With 13 confirmed cases in Quebec, public authorities and health officials are not taking any chances.
"Until further notice, all the city's arenas, libraries, sports facilities, the Botanical Gardens, the Planetarium, community centres, and the Claude Robillard Centre will close to curb any possible spread of the virus," added Mayor Plante.
Each building that will be closed is a municipal building. The Mayor notes that even if the building doesn't have an exact 250 person capacity, it will be closed for safety reasons.
"I want to make sure that we can contain, as much as we can, this virus," said Mayor Plante. "The message that I want to send to those who might think it's drastic is to consider that if we don't put these measures in place now, there will be more drastic ones later."
The Mayor says that the coronavirus situation in Montreal is not considered a "crisis" per se but that the measures applied are to minimize public risk.
It's important to note that the STM will not be closing its doors to the public.
Unless the situation evolves to the worst-case scenario, the STM will remain open so that people who absolutely need it can still get around.
"As you know, the STM has increased its hygiene measures. But the network's ridership must also apply personal hygiene measure and make sure to wash their hands," said Mayor Plante.
Mayor Plante says that the city will definitely be quieter in the next few weeks but she believes that the measures it's putting in place are the right thing to do.
She confirms that there are about 20 City of Montreal employees that are under quarantine at home right now.
All those employees work in the International Affairs department of Montreal.
"For the City of Montreal employees, we are installing a mandatory quarantine of 14 days for employees returning from travel, no matter the destination," highlighted the mayor.
"We have also issued a ban on all business travel abroad and we ask our employees to not travel for personal reasons."
As major events and even professional sports leagues cancel or postpone events, health experts and government authorities are on high alert and will do all they can to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
"The measures taken by the Government of Quebec and by the City of Montreal are balanced and show that the public authorities are organizing to take this situation seriously," concluded Mayor Plante.
Stay tuned for more updates on the coronavirus in Montreal right here on MTL Blog.