Horacio Aruda Quebec COVID-19 testing test

Quebec increases COVID-19 tests from 6,000 to 14,000 per day

Details about the province’s new testing strategy were announced today.

Ahead of the planned reopening of businesses and schools over the coming weeks, Quebec officials announced a dramatic increase in COVID-19 tests in Montreal and the rest of the province. Quebec public health director Horacio Aruda and health and social services minister Yves Jalbert shared details of the new COVID-19 testing strategy, which includes bringing the number of daily tests from 6,000 to 14,000.

“Starting on Monday (May 4), people who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to call a dedicated telephone line and get referred to a designated screening centre,” said Jalbert, noting that the aim is for appointments to happen within 24 hours.

A wave of new testing will be conducted in what Aruda referred to as “the north-eastern” part of Montreal, presumably meaning Montreal North, where there has been a marked rise in COVID-19 cases this week. According to Quebec’s new strategy, COVID-19 testing will now be conducted among people in the following groups:

“Symptomatic patients that are hospitalized and need regular care in a hospital setting,” Jalbert said. “The second group is healthcare professionals who have symptoms, and the staff and residences of CHSLD’s and other senior homes. The next group is where we have a big change, and that’s people who are symptomatic in all communities. Group six, and this has not changed, is first responders and workers in the public health care system and finally group six is the contacts of confirmed cases.”

As of yesterday, a total of 220,000 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Quebec. Once businesses and schools reopen between May 4 and 19, those sites will be a focus of the province’s testing strategy. An additional 1,000 tests will be on reserve in case of outbreaks.

Dr. Aruda warned the public to brace themselves for a jump in numbers, which is inevitable as more screening is conducted.

“You will see an increase in the number of cases, which is not necessarily due to increased transmission,” he said.

For the latest COVID-19 / Coronavirus info and statistics for Montreal and Quebec, please visit the Santé Quebéc website.

For official info from the Government of Canada on COVID-19 / Coronavirusincluding their latest map of cases in Montreal, Quebec and Canadaplease also click here.

Additionallyplease visit our News section for more updates on COVID-19 / Coronavirusand the reopening of businesses, daycares and schools in Quebec.

To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.

To vote for your favourite Montreal people and things in the Best of MTL readers poll, please also click here.