Montreal public health rapid tests testing sites

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Montreal public health: Rely on rapid tests, PCR testing sites overwhelmed

90% of new cases in the city are Omicron, and 60% are in the 18–44 age group.

With PCR testing sites across the city overwhelmed, public health director Dr. Mylène Drouin is advising Montrealers to rely on rapid tests, which are theoretically becoming more available at Montreal pharmacies with each passing day. In this morning’s press conference, Drouin stated that the results of rapid tests are reliable and don’t need to be confirmed by a PCR test.

With public health unable to proceed with contact tracing, she stressed the importance of isolating after a positive test and informing contacts — anyone you were sharing a space with in the past 48 hours, particularly unmasked, including public places like restaurants and bars. If you are showing any symptoms associated with the pandemic and a test is not available, public health also advises isolating, along with everyone who lives in your household. The recommended quarantine period is 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

There are over 3,600 new cases of COVID-19 in the city today, according to Drouin, and the positivity rate has shot up to 18–20% — 1 in 5 people getting tested are testing positive. The Omicron variant now accounts for 90% of new cases, and 60% of those recently infected fall into the 18–44 age group.

The hardest hit neighbourhoods in terms of new cases are Petite-Patrie, Villeray, Mile End, Centre-Ville (downtown) and Hochelaga.

Despite the fact that the Quebec government is still allowing groups of 10 at private indoor gatherings through Saturday (and groups of 6 after that), Drouin advised all Montrealers to dramatically reduce contacts immediately.

There are 9,397 new cases in Quebec today.

Montreal public health: Rely on rapid tests, PCR testing sites overwhelmed

This article was originally published at 11:15 a.m. and updated at 11:55 a.m.

For more on the COVID-19 situation in Quebec, please click here.

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