1) COVID-19 appeared to be surging in the east end of Montreal on Wednesday in a manner not even observed during the first wave of the #pandemic. In this thread, I will try to shed light on what may be going on in the metropolis amid the resurgence.
2) In the chart below, you will note a significant increase in the number of cases among three health districts in the East End of Montreal Island, with a combined total of 39 new #COVID19 positive test results. That compares with only three cases on the West Island.
3) This is an inversion from what occurred during the beginning of the first wave of the #pandemic when #COVID19 erupted in the Centre-West of Montreal in the municipality of Côte Saint-Luc and the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
4) If you look at the map below — courtesy of covidecolesquebec.org — you will observe far more schools in the Centre and East End of the metropolis that are declaring confirmed cases of #COVID19 among students and staff than on the West Island.
5) What’s driving the increase in the East End? Are more East End residents getting tested for #COVID19? Is it because the East End is more densely populated than the West Island? It’s hard to answer these questions, especially given this is a new trend, but it's worth noting.
6) The picture is less clear among long-term care centres (CHSLDs) and seniors’ residences (RPAs). A total of nine elderly residents are infected with #COVID19 in the East End compared with seven on the West Island. Another 13 cases are concentrated in the centre of the city.
6) Meanwhile, Montreal posted 97 #COVID19 cases on Wednesday. The last time the city recorded the same number was all the way back on June 6, at the very end of the first wave of the #pandemic. Please see the rising orange line in the chart below.
7) Let's turn away now from Montreal to regions where the #coronavirus is also proliferating, possibly more so than in the metropolis. Much has been reported about Quebec City’s outbreaks, but two other regions are of great concern: Bas-Saint-Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches.
8) Bas-Saint-Laurent’s rolling seven-day average on Wednesday was 11 cases per 100,000 population, a threshold that’s high enough to trigger being declared a red zone, according to one of the criteria that analyst @Patrickdery revealed the government has been considering.
9) The situation is even worse in Chaudière-Appalaches, with a rate of 37.19 cases per 100,000 population. Of course, case incidence is not the sole criterion to declare a region a red zone, but this demonstrates how the #coronavirus is truly spreading all over the province.
10) What’s also spreading all over the province is ER overcrowding. (See the chart below.) The #COVID19 resurgence is now occurring across Canada, with Ontario poised to announce a reduction in the size of public gatherings. Perhaps Quebec should do the same. End of thread.
Addendum: Thanks to @Patrickdery for pointing this out. I must correct an error for Bas-Saint-Laurent. Its rate should be 9.64 cases per 100,000 residents, just below the red-zone criterion. I incorrectly reported 11 cases per 100,000, another stat from my notes. My apologies.
Another correction: Chaudière-Appalaches's rate is actually 4.59 cases per 100,000 residents, compared with 2.94 in Montreal. I based my population figure on a district of that region, not the whole region. Will have to triple check these figures in the future. My apologies.

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More from @Aaron_Derfel

19 Sep
1) In less than two weeks, the number of Montreal schools affected by the #pandemic — but not necessarily declaring outbreaks — has nearly quadrupled. In this thread, I will try to explain what may be going on within the student population in the city.
2) Please compare the two maps below, courtesy of covidecolesquebec.org, the first dated Sept. 6 and the second today, Sept. 18. In the first map, Montreal counted two dozen schools where at least one student or employee tested positive. By Friday, that figure jumped to 93. Image
3) One of those schools, Herzliah, was forced Thursday to close for two weeks after a #COVID19 outbreak infected at least 15 students and a teacher. Six other schools have confirmed outbreaks less than three weeks into the academic year, according to the public health department.
Read 10 tweets
18 Sep
1) Montreal appeared to be edging closer to being coded an orange zone in the #pandemic Thursday after authorities added a backlog of more than 200 #COVID19 cases to the daily tally. In this thread, I will try to explain what is now going on in the city at this critical juncture.
2) The Montreal public health department revealed the huge backlog at a news conference, the same day Herzliah High School became the first educational institution in the #pandemic in Quebec to close for two weeks because of a #COVID19 outbreak. montrealgazette.com/news/local-new…
3) Think of that for a moment. A high school closes temporarily only three weeks into the start of the school year in a city with at least six other #COVID19 school outbreaks. Provincially, 173 classes have been shuttered because students or staff tested positive for the virus.
Read 12 tweets
16 Sep
1) Montreal is once again on the verge of becoming the epicenter of Canada’s #pandemic as it posted 96 new #COVID cases Tuesday, the highest since the tail end of the last wave. In this thread, I will assess the dire implications of the city’s latest predicament.
2) The last time Montreal posted a higher daily number was on June 6, right before #pandemic was brought under control briefly in the city. Dr. Mylène Drouin, director of the local public health department, was blunt in her update Tuesday. "All indicators are up," she warned.
3) “Yes, it’s worrisome for Montreal,” Drouin added. She noted that hospitalizations — perhaps the best indicator of the severity of the #pandemic — are up slightly in the city. There are at least seven outbreaks in schools, 24 in the workplace and three in eldercare homes.
Read 10 tweets
15 Sep
1) Quebec released its most detailed stats to date Monday on the #pandemic's impact on schools. The picture is not a reassuring one, with at least 144 classrooms shut down as of Sept. 11 due to #COVID19. In this thread, I will try to explain what this means for kids and teachers.
2) The chart below reveals that a total of 217 students have tested positive for the #coronavirus since the start of the school year. Of that number, nearly 88% study in the province’s packed public schools. However, it should be noted the province has far fewer private ones.
3) In addition, a total of 66 school employees — many of them teachers — have screened positive for the virus as well. At this stage, it’s likely that most students and teachers contracted the #coronavirus in the community, but outbreaks are now occurring in schools, too.
Read 11 tweets
14 Sep
1) As #COVID19 continues to spread across Quebec — causing outbreaks in schools and bars — the province’s health-care system remains more vulnerable than ever. In this thread, I will highlight the latest problems to hit acute-care hospitals in the #pandemic.
2) Over the weekend, the Hôpital de Gatineau suspended its intensive-care service following a sit-in protest by burned out nurses on Friday. This has occurred as the Outaouais region has been recording slightly more #COVID19 cases than during the first wave in the #pandemic.
3) Emergency-room nurses also staged a sit-in at the Hôpital du Suroît on Thursday in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. The hospital responded by taking the nurses’ union to the Quebec labor tribunal to have the sit-in declared an illegal pressure tactic.
Read 13 tweets
12 Sep
1) For the first time in the #pandemic, #COVID19 is intensifying at the same time in both Montreal and outlying regions, with outbreaks now occurring in schools, businesses and homes, amid an uptick in hospitalizations. In this thread, I will examine the latest ominous trends.
2) During the first wave in the #pandemic, #COVID19 was concentrated in Montreal and Laval, rampaging through eldercare homes. Outlying regions were largely spared, and travel was restricted from Montreal. The current resurgence is unfolding much differently.
3) As I’ve reported in earlier threads, #coronavirus transmission is now being driven largely by young people, with #COVID19 cases being confirmed even among preschoolers as well as among elementary and high school students. But there are still outbreaks in nursing homes.
Read 12 tweets

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