UPDATED Monday, March 23, 3:25 p.m. In an effort to combat COVID-19 / Coronavirus, the Montreal police declared a state of emergency for the first time since the 1998 ice storm. New regulations have been in effect since midnight last night.
Montreal police shifts can now be extended from 8.5 to 12 hours, vacation time can be cancelled and officers can be ordered to work overtime. Staff engaged in administrative duties can also be tasked with patroling the streets. These measures are meant to compensate for officers who need to self-isolate or quarantine. This afternoon it was revealed that two SPVM officers have tested positive for Coronavirus.
Given the province-wide ban on gatherings of more than two people (indoors or outdoors), 911 has been jammed with reports of social gatherings. Officials are asking that the line be freed up for more pressing emergencies, but Montreal police will now be able to break up gatherings and fine people $1,000 for not abiding by the COVID-19 / Coronavirus social distancing directive.
Today Premier François Legault also announced an effective three-week provincial shut-down, further limiting social interaction. All businesses not delivering essential services have been ordered to suspend activity.
Last week the police temporarily closed all of its service counters at neighbourhood police stations, operational centres and other offices to the public. These closures remain in effect.
There are currently 628 cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, including 233 newly reported “probable” cases. ■
See a list of public places where people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 circulated in Montreal on the Quebec government website.
For official info from the Government of Canada on Coronavirus / COVID-19, click here.
Please visit our News section for more updates on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
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About Cult MTL
Cult MTL is a daily web and monthly print publication focusing on Montreal music, arts, culture and city life. Along with interviewing local and visiting artists, promoters and entrepreneurs, we feature analysis and criticism by our editorial staff and crew of columnists and freelancers, compile comprehensive event listings, curate a daily To-Do List and run the annual Best of MTL readers poll.