Premier Fançois Legault and Public Health chief Horacio Arruda are being credited for a quick response in helping Cote St-Luc deal with its Covid outbreak. CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein acted immediately when five cases broke out at the King David Seniors Residence and Beth Chabad in declaring a state of emergency in his city.
Though Dr. Arruda felt a quarantine for CSL was premature, in less than a week he established one of the largest drive-through testing centres yet to help mitigate the spread of the virus. It is located in the back parking lot of Cavendish Mall right in front of the door to the CLSC blood lab.
“Kudos to Legault and his team for bringing the testing here,” said Brownstein. “We want to find out who in our community is positive.” Despite concerns by some residents of the proximity of the testing centre to private residences abutting the parking lot, the facility has brought a sense of relief as most residents would like to know who and how many have it.
The timing of establishing the centre was particularly propitious because at today’s briefing Legault and Arruda underlined the fact that Montreal is the “hot zone” for Covid in Quebec and the West End is the most affected area. Arruda said, “If you don’t have to go to the area, then avoid it.”
“King David is a very big concern,” said Brownstein referring to the current hospitalization of at least three elderly residents. Brownstein has already started a concerted program of public education and community pressure. He is faced with controlling a situation in a municipality with the largest percentage of people over 65 and it is they who are most at risk from Covid. Some one-third of CSL residents are in this demographic. At the same time CSL has one of the largest populations of snowbirds and they are now returning. Public health officials believe that those returning from abroad are the prime carriers of the virus. But many of CSL’s returnees — and others in the general population — were not following instructions to self-isolate and keep social distance until Brownstein drove home the point with a spate of new initiatives.
The screening centre will be able to test some 500 people a day starting Sunday. Anyone can use it as long as the call the central Covid hotline number at 1.877.644.4545 and make an appointment. email@example.com