Montreal public health officials, along with Mayor Valérie Plante announced that the city of Montreal has 28 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon.
Two patients are currently in intensive care, however, no deaths have been reported in the city.
Health officials say they are following 200 cases in order to isolate them and avoid the spread of the virus.
“My army is ready,” said Mylène Drouin, director of Montreal Public Health.
Part of her “army” was deployed to Trudeau Airport on March 16 to inform travelers about the virus and the need to isolate themselves for 14 days.
But as international borders close, those workers will now be re-allocated into the investigation of cases.
Mayor Valerie Plante reiterated the importance of closing places of worship and called upon spiritual leaders to help enforce the message.
“Whatever your religious belief, it’s not the time to get together, we definitely need to follow the rules,” Plante said.
The mayor also asked that seniors stay home, given the demographic displays the highest rate of mortality.
Sainte-Justine Hospital puts in place a drive-thru screening service for patients
In Montreal, Sainte-Justine Hospital announced it has put in place a drive-thru screening service for patients.
Motorists, as well as pedestrians, will have access to the service.
The children’s hospital says advantages of having an outside drive-thru is twofold: it can lower the risk of contagion inside the building and allows for more patients to be screened.
The service is available daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment only.
To get an appointment, patients must go through the government’s 811 line. The hospital says the screening service is currently only available to minors who have returned from a trip and are exhibiting symptoms.
Earlier in the day, Premier François Legault confirmed the number of cases of novel coronavirus in the province had jumped to 121.
The premier reiterated his message urging people to stay home.
As of Thursday, about 4,000 people province-wide were awaiting test results for COVID-19.
The Quebec government is also reporting on its website that a person who contracted novel coronavirus was in the children’s section of the public library in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, located on Botrel Street, on March 11, between 4:30 p.m. and 6.
Other people who may have been in the children’s section at the same time are being asked to watch for possible symptoms such as fever, coughing and breathing difficulties up to March 25.
Montreal librairies have since been shut down to limit the spread of the virus.
— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise and Gloria Henriquez
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