COVID-19 in Montreal | Up to 44 potential cases of variants, including one at the Stanislas school

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If the number of new cases of COVID-19 is down slightly in Montreal, the metropolis remains on a “high plateau” and is still considered a “very frank red” zone, with an average of 500 cases per day. Some 44 potential cases of variants are under the radar of the authorities, including one at Stanislas elementary school, where around 40 positive cases have already been identified.


Posted on February 10, 2021 at 1:42 p.m.


Updated at 6:16 p.m.

Ariane LacoursiereAriane Lacoursiere
Press

Henri Ouellette-VézinaHenri Ouellette-Vézina
Press

Overall, the greater Montreal area “has seen a drop in cases since the beginning of January”, but “this drop is fading with the reopening of schools,” said Montreal’s regional director of public health on Wednesday. the Dre Mylène Drouin.

A total of 6,786 new cases were reported there for the week of January 26 to February 8, compared to 9,280 new cases for the period of January 12 to 25. However, increases in cases are observed among 0-17 year olds and 35-44 year olds. “It’s probably the parents associated with what you see in schools and daycares,” said Dr.re Drouin.

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Pendant ce temps, les nouveaux variants, eux, continuent d’inquiéter les autorités de santé publique. En tout, neuf cas confirmés de variants ont été confirmés jusqu’à maintenant par séquençage à Montréal. La majorité est issue du variant britannique. S’ajoutent à cela 23 cas suspects et 12 cas confirmés par liens épidémiologiques, pour un total de 44 cas de variants.

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« Ces variants sont plus transmissibles que la souche actuelle », rappelle la Dre Drouin. Pour 23 cas de variants actuellement sous le radar des autorités, il s’agit de gens de retour de voyage. Des 375 milieux en éclosion à Montréal, 125 sont des milieux de travail, 54 en CHSLD, 44 en résidences privées pour aînés et 28 en ressources intermédiaires.

Éclosion à l’école Stanislas

La Dre Drouin a par ailleurs confirmé mercredi que l’école primaire Stanislas, dans Outremont, est actuellement fermée à cause d’une éclosion survenue dans une classe. Pour le moment, « une quarantaine » de personnes y ont été testées positives à la COVID-19. Mais ce bilan préliminaire pourrait augmenter.

PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, ARCHIVES LA PRESSE

L’école primaire Stanislas.

Un cas suspect du variant britannique a également été constaté dans cette école, forçant la direction à placer les élèves de la classe en enseignement à distance. Tous les élèves qui ont été en contact avec le même enseignant, ainsi que les membres de la familles des élèves touchés, ont aussi été isolés. La plupart des parents rencontrés par La Presse mercredi, à la sortie des classes, n’ont pas souhaité réagir. Certains se sont dits « préoccupés » par la situation, mais ont réitéré qu’ils avaient confiance en l’administration, qui doit réagir un peu plus tard, mercredi soir.

« Il y avait plusieurs raisons [pour fermer l’école] : the scale of the outbreak, the number of classes affected, the speed at which transmission takes place and, obviously, the pattern of transmission in siblings and at different levels of the school, ”explained Mme Drouin. She says that discussions are underway to test more quickly and more widely in this establishment, in order to “break the chain of transmission”.

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It is not yet known how long the school will remain closed. One thing is certain: teaching at the secondary level of Collège Stanislas is not affected.

Joined by The Press, the CIUSSS du Center-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal has confirmed that a series of screening tests have been carried out at Stanislas College since Tuesday. “This operation is going well. Our team will be on site until Friday, February 12 to test children, parents and members of staff who so desire, ”said spokesperson Carl Thériault.

It should be noted that an increase in outbreaks has been observed in the school network in general, especially in elementary schools, where the wearing of masks is not required at all levels. In all, 82 schools and 56 daycare services are emerging. Four schools have had to be closed since last week, including the Stanislas school.

The Dre Drouin says public health will be “more aggressive in schools at the start of an outbreak,” including increasing screening and applying “reinforcement measures” as needed. While relaxation of health protocols have been applied in Montreal since Monday, the Dre Drouin calls on the population to remain vigilant, because “our level of community transmission remains high”.

46,000 people awaiting an operation

Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized in Montreal establishments is also declining and now reaches 479, revealed the CEO of the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montreal, Sonia Bélanger. She specifies that 89 people are still in intensive care. “Yes, things are better, but in intensive care, there is still a lot of pressure on the teams,” she said.

PHOTO EDOUARD PLANTE-FRÉCHETTE, THE PRESS

The CEO of the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Sonia Bélanger.

Of the 21 hospitals in Montreal, most have between 55% and 60% of their operating room load shedding rate. At Notre-Dame Hospital, half of the six operating rooms are open. In Quebec, 140,000 people are waiting for an operation, including 46,000 in Montreal.

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More than 500 health workers are absent in connection with COVID-19 in the metropolis. “Our establishments remain very fragile. Our workers need the solidarity of Montrealers more than ever, ”insisted Mr.me Bélanger, adding that no one “is not immune to a fallback if the variant hits hard”.

For two weeks, vaccination has slowed in the metropolis, while the doses are becoming rarer. To date, 72,000 people have been vaccinated out of two million Montrealers, for a vaccination rate of 0.33%. “It’s not a lot,” admitted Mme Bélanger. Among those vaccinated, there are 52,000 health workers, nearly 10,000 residents of CHSLDs, 5,000 people living in private seniors’ residences and 700 homeless people. More vaccines are expected next week, however, said the CEO.

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