In a press conference this morning, Montreal public health director Mylène Drouin provided a COVID-19 update for the city, with a focus on the situation in the homeless community. There is currently an 8.8% positivity rate, with each infected person infecting less than one other person (a significant reduction from fall/winter trends), suggesting that the closure of non-essential businesses, schools (over the holidays) and the curfew are helping to curb the spread of the virus. The health network is still under strain, however, and there are currently 400 outbreaks: 179 in workplaces, more than 148 in the health care system and 23 small outbreaks associated with the reopening of schools.
The most complex outbreak in Montreal currently, Drouin said, is in the homeless community, where there have been more than 274 cases since the beginning of December — 192 among homeless people and 82 among those who work with them. A “massive action plan” has been undertaken to control the situation, Drouin said, including screening in various community organization, day centres and shelters.
Of the 43,000 Montrealers to have received the COVID-19 vaccine to date, over 400 homeless people and over 200 workers have been vaccinated. More shelters and beds are being added to the network in order to isolate homeless people diagnosed with COVID-19.