Analysis: COVID-19 transmission rises among Montreal health workers, but drops in the community

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A day after a disturbing spike in COVID-19 cases in some Montreal neighbourhoods, public health authorities explained on Monday that the increase was the result of a change in methodology. Undeniably, the pandemic is being brought under control in the city, yet health workers are still getting infected, spreading the coronavirus among each other in hospitals.

One of the original hot spots in the pandemic has been Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The Côte-des-Neiges district is densely populated, has lot of apartments and stores, while many residents make use of public transit — all risk factors in the transmission on the novel virus.

Observers feared after Premier François Legault allowed public gatherings of up to 10 people in Montreal on May 22, COVID-19 clusters might flare up not only in Côte-des-Neiges but in other districts of the city. That fear was lent credence when the public health department released a report last Wednesday observing that community transmission of COVID-19 — that is, outside of hospitals and long-term care centres — increased by 15 per cent over seven days.