Montreal public health asks bar goers to get tested for coronavirus

Jul 15 2020, 7:32 am

Montreal’s regional public health department is asking anyone who has gone to or worked in bars in the city since July 1 to get tested for COVID-19.

Santé Montreal says 30 new confirmed cases have been linked to at least five Montreal bars since the beginning of the month.

Public health says it has contacted bars and customers who may have been exposed to the virus but given that the client registry has only recently been introduced in some places, health officials haven’t been able to trace all probable cases.

Montreal has been seeing an increase in the proportion of cases among young people aged 15 to 39, according to Santé Montreal, and as a result, screening capacity is being increased “as soon as possible.”

“I’m afraid that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” says Dr. David Kaiser, Chief Medical Officer of the Urban Environment and Healthy Lifestyle Habits sector. “The pandemic is not over, and there continues to be community transmission in Montreal.”

Kaiser says if we want to reduce the impacts of a potential second wave, people who start developing COVID-19 symptoms “must absolutely” get tested and self-isolate until they receive their results.

Public health reminds citizens to wear masks in public places, wash their hands frequently, and limit contact as much as possible, citing the ten-person, three household maximum rule.

Santé Montreal also reminds bar owners to keep a registry of clients, reduce capacity to 50%, prohibit dancing, only serve people who are seated alcohol, and ensure staff members are wearing the proper equipment at all times.

To see the list of COVID-19 testing clinics across the city, visit the Santé Montreal COVID-19 website or call 514-644-4545 to be referred to the right resource.

DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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