Montreal Public Health is asking anyone who attended indoor or outdoor Latin dance events in the Montreal area since July 31 to get tested for COVID-19.
Three people who attended such events in recent weeks have tested positive. At least two were contagious when they attended a events on Aug. 14 on Ste-Catherine Street, and on Aug. 15 at Frédéric-Back Park, said public health director Mylene Drouin.
"Every time there is an outbreak, we are doing everything we can to trace the contacts and stop the transmission," Drouin said at a Monday morning news conference.
Those who attended similar events at Park Lafontaine and in Verdun should also get tested, she said.
Montreal's Latin Groove Dance School posted an advisory for people to get tested on its Facebook page.
It said that public health informed them that one person who had attended their events has tested positive.
"We are in close contact with this person and he seems to be in good health despite the infection. We wish him a quick recovery," the post said.
Drouin said public health is having a hard time contacting those who were at the events since there is no registry of attendees.
"We are better to act quickly to avoid more of a spread," Drouin said. "When we are not able to do contact tracing, they become events we call 'super spreaders.'"
She reminded the public that contact-tracing information is kept confidential.
Recent outbreaks have also been linked to parties, bars and day camps in the greater Montreal region.
No indoor dancing allowed
Dancing presents the risk of spreading COVID-19, Drouin said, because of the close contact it can entail.
"We want to remind people of the rules," Drouin said.
Dancing is still not authorized in any indoor space, she said. Outdoor dance events are authorized, but Drouin stressed that no one showing symptoms should attend, nor should those who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Masks should also be worn, Drouin said, since the two-metre distance cannot always be respected in a dance context.
"Dancers should also only have one partner, ideally someone who resides in the same place as them," Drouin said, adding that no singing or screaming should occur at the events.