Montreal's public health director is encouraging the public to follow the guidelines for a little while longer, after it was announced the city would maintain tighter restrictions until at least early June.
Dr. Mylène Drouin said the situation has improved — the city recorded fewer than 100 cases on Wednesday — but she wants to see what happens in the coming days following the long weekend.
Drouin said outbreaks in workplaces and school settings are on the decline, but there has been a slight uptick in outbreaks in community settings — including nine linked to gatherings in parks. In all, there are 216 active outbreaks in Montreal.
With the curfew set to lift and patios to open as of Friday, Drouin cautioned that even though the risk of transmission is lower outside, people should not share food or drinks.
She also encouraged those with mild, allergy-like symptoms to get tested. She said public health has documented COVID-19 cases among those who had one shot of the vaccine.
"We still have to be vigilant," she said, adding that adherence to the restrictions has paid off.
"We wouldn't be talking about opening sectors now if we had been in a third wave in April."
Non-committal on timeline
Earlier this week, Premier François Legault said he expects Montreal and other regions still in the red zone to see those tighter restrictions lifted by June 7.
That would mean reopening in-restaurant dining, as well as gyms.
Drouin didn't want to commit to a date but said the situation would be re-evaluated early next week.
"If it's not the 7th, it's going to be soon," she said.
While Montreal has so far avoided a third wave, the city is lagging slightly behind the rest of the province when it comes to vaccinations.
Drouin said the expected glut of vaccines in the coming weeks should correct that discrepancy. She said public health is planning to add more pop-up clinics, given that they have proven popular with younger Quebecers.