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1) Montreal observed its lowest number of #COVID cases in four weeks on Saturday, despite the ramp-up in testing in the city’s hot spots. Yet despite this positive trend, I will try to explain in this thread how the #coronavirus is still smouldering in the city.
2) Three weeks after Quebec’s chief health officer, Dr. @ArrudaHoracio, announced a daily goal of 14,000 #COVID tests, authorities reached it for the first time Thursday, completing 14,572 tests. Despite thousands of extra tests, the city posted 283 new #COVID cases on Saturday.
3) Provincially, the government reported 27 fewer #COVID hospitalizations, although we don’t have a breakdown for Montreal. It’s against this backdrop that Premier @francoislegault and Arruda decided to loosen confinement measures.
4) However, here’s a stark contradiction: The Premier invoked the unstable situation in the city’s hospitals two weeks ago to cancel the reopening of schools. The city’s hospitals are still severely short-staffed and ER overcrowding has grown much worse in the last few days.
5) Meanwhile, Montreal declared 54 #COVID deaths on Saturday, raising its tally to more than 2,500. It’s highly likely that most of these deaths occurred in long-term care centres (CHSLDs) and seniors’ residences.
6) Here is whether there is evidence the #coronavirus is smouldering. The number of #COVID outbreaks in CHSLDs and seniors’ residences climbed to 170 on Montreal Island from 166 on Friday. There are still major outbreaks in these institutions.
7) In yet another discrepancy, these institutions in Montreal recorded a total of #COVID 2,972 deaths on Saturday, up by 182 from the day before. Yet the public health department noted an increase of 54 deaths in total for the metropolis. Again, I can’t account for this mismatch.
8) At the neighborhood level, the chart below shows double-digit increases in #COVID cases in seven boroughs. In Ahuntsic-Cartierville, where an outbreak has killed an inmate at Bordeaux jail, the borough reported 39 new cases Saturday, the highest in the city.
9) All these examples show the #coronavirus has far from disappeared in the city. Yet on Friday, public gatherings of 10 people were allowed. On Monday, many retail stores will reopen. We won’t know the full impact of these new loosening measures for another two to three weeks.
10) On May 11, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made these remarks: “Thanks to our collective efforts, we are now in a position where we can start to plan to ease public health measures." More than two weeks later, Ontario is witnessing a spike in #COVID cases.
11) On May 10, Ford allowed his daughters to visit on Mother’s Day, sparking confusion about social gathering rules. On Friday, Toronto’s medical officer said “people may have acquired the virus during recent events where people spend time with their families, like Mother's Day."
12) Ontario’s example shows how the #pandemic can come roaring back if authorities are not careful. In Montreal, where the coronavirus is smouldering, Ontario’s experience should serve as a cautionary lesson. End of thread. Stay safe everyone.
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