The mayoress doesn’t like the situation, but Montreal is once again the epicenter of COVID-19. The health sector is particularly weakened, while hospitalizations have more than doubled in the space of a month.
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There are 744 patients currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the metropolis, and of this number, 117 are in intensive care. Less than a month ago, on December 14, there were only 318 people hospitalized with the disease, including 48 in intensive care.
On Wednesday afternoon, Montreal’s public health director, Mylène Drouin, recalled that the number of outbreaks has been steadily increasing since mid-December.
This situation is of great concern to Santé Montréal, when there are 311 active outbreaks in Montréal. Of this number, 137 occurred in the health sector.
“Since January 4, there has really been an increase in hospital admissions. The majority of establishments in Montreal have gone to the red level, ”indicates the CEO of the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montreal, Sonia Bélanger.
To try to reduce the pressure, Montreal must fit out 350 additional beds, including 43 in intensive care. In addition, there are 310 beds for patients whose care needs less support. Currently, 1,000 beds are available for patients with COVID-19.
Many network employees have to be absent, while more than 1,000 of them are missing because they have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting the result of a drug test.
Vaccination is progressing well
Good news, however: Montreal Public Health believes it will be able to vaccinate all residents of CHSLDs in the metropolis as well as the employees who work there by the end of next week.
Currently, more than 29,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the island of Montreal. Of this number, 8,000 residents in CHSLDs and nearly 12,000 health workers have received the vaccine.
As of Wednesday, only around 5,000 residents were left to receive their vaccine. Mme Bélanger explains that everything was done quickly thanks to work “seven days a week”.
For employees, it is more difficult to quantify the number of people who remain to be vaccinated, since they do not all want to receive the vaccine. Mme Bélanger specifies that only 40 to 70% of Montreal CHSLD employees agree to receive it.
Vaccination in hospitals has also started, as the CHUM and the MUHC began administering Pfizer’s vaccine to their employees and physicians.
A first very small group of homeless people will start to be vaccinated as of the end of next week within the framework of an “epidemiological investigation”. A total of 500 doses are reserved for them, said the Dre Drouin.
Since the beginning of December, 114 cases have been identified among people experiencing homelessness and 58 cases among employees of organizations that come to their aid.
Mayor Valérie Plante also confirmed on Wednesday that the shelters were practically full. To the 1,366 beds currently available to this clientele, 150 additional places will soon be added.
“A lot of concerns have been raised in connection with the curfew […] and for us, it is important not to further weaken people who are already vulnerable, ”she said, recalling that we must show tolerance and humanity towards them.